Painting of a lion king.

The Lion & the Mouse (Aesop’s Fables)

The Lion & the Mouse is one of Aesop’s fables, written in the 5th century BCE. There have been many versions told since then. This is one of those retellings, in my own words.

Slashes made by an enraged barbarian fabulist.

In the vast plains of the Old Savannah, there lived a Lion, the king of the jungle. He was taking a nap under the shade of a large tree when suddenly a little Mouse, not seeing him sleeping there, ran over his nose. The Lion woke up, caught the Mouse, and began to torment him, as all cats do, before eating him.

The tiny Mouse, quivering in terror, begged the Lion to let him go. He said, “Please, let me go, and I will repay your kindness someday.” The Lion, amused by the idea of such a small creature being able to help him, laughed and let the Mouse go.

Days turned into weeks, and the Lion fell into a hunter’s trap. The hunters had set a strong net, and the Lion was entangled in it, unable to break free. He roared his deepest roar, swung his mighty claws, and strained his fearsome muscles, but it was all in vain.

The mighty Lion, trembling with fury, asked the hunters to let him go. He said, “Please, set me free, and I will repay your mercy someday.” The hunters, amused by the idea of such a ferocious creature helping him, laughed and did not let him go.

The Mouse, hearing the Lion’s roar, rushed to see what had happened. Seeing the Lion trapped, the Mouse remembered his promise. That night, he scurried quietly beneath the net and gnawed at the ropes with his sharp teeth. After a short while, the ropes broke, and the Lion was free.

The lion leapt into the hunters’ camp. Caught off guard, they were defenceless against his wrath. The Lion avenged his humiliation and reasserted his dominance. The Lion became King of the Jungle once more.

The Moral: Kindness is never wasted.

Juan Artola Miranda

I am Juan Artola Miranda, a fabulist living in the Mexican Caribbean. My friends know me by the name of my father's father, but that name grew into something bigger, my writing reaching tens of millions of readers. It was too strong for me to control. Artola Miranda is the name of my mother's mother. It's a better name for a fabulist.

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