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Aesop's Fables by  J. H. Stickney


 

 

THE LION AND THE MOUSE

[61]

I
T ONCE happened that a hungry Lion woke to find a Mouse just under his paw. He caught the tiny creature, and was about to make a mouthful of him, when the little fellow looked up, and began to beg for his life.

In most piteous tones the Mouse said: "Do not eat me. I meant no harm coming so near you. If you would only spare my life now, O Lion, I would be sure to repay you!"

The Lion laughed scornfully at this, but it amused him so much that he lifted his paw and let his brave little prisoner go free.

It befell the great Lion, not long afterward, to be in as evil a case as [62] had been the helpless Mouse. And it came about that his life was to be saved by the keeping of the promise he had ridiculed.

He was caught by some hunters, who bound him with a strong rope, while they went away to find means for killing him.

Hearing his loud groans, the Mouse came promptly to his rescue, and gnawed the great rope till the royal captive could set himself free.

"You laughed," the little Mouse said, "at the idea of my being able to be of service to you. You little thought I should repay you. But you see it has come to pass that you are as grateful to me as I was once to you. The weak have their place in the world as truly as the strong."


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