The man and the lion | Aesop's fables retold
The man and the lion is part of the collection of Aesops fables, which are among the more popularly known of a rather large number of ancient fables and stories. Many of us perhaps would have read one or the other of the stories attributed to Aesop. This story is very similar to another Aesop's fable - The lion and the statue.
Though these stories and fables may appear to be quite simple and small often they offer interesting insights into life and present important morals that both children and grown-ups would do well to understand.
Here is the story of the man and the lion retold more elaborately.
The man and the lion
Once upon a time a man and a lion were walking through the forest.They were discussing various things in a friendly manner, when they turned to the question of who was more powerful - men or lions - and then the argument became more contentious.
"Oh! I agree you lions are pretty strong, perhaps stronger than most other animals in the forest," said the man condescendingly, "but remember you are no match for man."
"Why do you say that," inquired the lion, not unkindly. "You should know, most men would be pretty afraid to face a lion. After we are very strong and powerful."
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The man and the lion have an argument
"What do you mean," shouted the man. "I am not afraid of you. And I am pretty strong, look at my strength" and the man flexed his muscles.
"That is because I am treating you as my guest in the forest," said the lion beginning to get irritated. "Do you think I couldn't finish you off in a minute if I wanted to," cried the lion and shook its paws at the man resisting the temptation to eat up the man - because that wouldn't count as an argument won after all.
"Alright, alright," placated the man backing off a bit scared. "That is not what I meant. Of course in brute strength you might be strong enough, but we men have guile, we have strategy, we can think and outwit our opponents - and hence we are more powerful than them. But perhaps you wouldn't understand all that!"
The man and the lion see a statue
"I am sure I don't understand all those big words, but I am sure I don't need to," said the lion.
Then they came across a big statue - it showed a man who had evidently vanquished a lion and was standing with a triumphant look with one foot on the lion.
"Look," cried the man. "This statue says it all. This so obviously shows that the man is the victor in that little clash - that man is inherently more powerful than the lion."
"Humpf," said the lion and nothing else.
"Why are you so quiet now," goaded the man. "Surely you can't argue with the statue. Surely it tells us that man is more powerful. Or are you looking at it some other way. Come on - tell me what does this statue tell you?"
And the lion's reply...
"All this tells me is that a man made the statue," shot back the lion.
"I admit we lions don't know how to make statues. If a lion had made the statue, it would have shown the lion standing victorious over the man!"
Things can be represented in many ways
We can see from this little story, that it matters not only how a thing is represented but also who does the representation. Who says or does something is also to be considered along with what is said or done.
Thus little Johnny's parents saying, "My Johnny is the smartest child in the world," is not quite the same as a test administered by unbiased examiners saying the same.
A salesman saying, "My product is the best in the world," is not quite the same as an independent test lab or review saying the same.
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