"The Fox and the Lion"

Aesop (620-560 BCE), if he ever existed, was a Greek fabulist. He is said to have lived some time at the court of King Croesus of Lydia in Sardis, what is now modern Turkey. His name is derived from the Greek Aethiop (Ethiopia) and his statue can be seen in Rome's Villa Albani

An illustration by Richard Heighway from an 1894 collection of the fables
His fables are characterized by animals and inanimate objects that solve problems, speak and generally have human characteristics. Aesop's fables have been translated into hundreds of languages and most children at school read his tales, from which they are supposed to learn something.  The fables are short stories that illustrate a particular moral and teach a lesson to the reader. The characters of his tales are usually animals which act and talk like people, but keep their animal traits. In addition, a moral is added at the bottom of each fable. Thus, some of the most popular ones are:

1. "Appearances often are deceiving" from "The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing".
2, "Slow and steady wins the race" from "The hare and the Tortoise".
3, "Never trust a flatterer" from "The Fox and the Crow".
4. "Familiarity breeds contempt" from The Fox and the Lion"

Some people think that fables are directed only to children, and this may be the case. However, we can all learn something from fables and apply them to a great variety of issues. For example, a few days ago I read for the twentieth time the short fable "The Fox and the Lion":

When first the Fox saw the Lion he was terribly frightened, and ran away and hid himself in the wood. Next time however he came near the King of Beasts he stopped at a safe distance and watched him pass by. The third time they came near one another the Fox went straight up to the Lion and passed the time of day with him, asking him how his family were, and when he should have the pleasure of seeing him again; then turning his tail, he parted from the Lion without much ceremony.

Familiarity breeds contempt.

In which contexts can you apply this fable? These two just dawned on me: 

- Political arena
- Friends and enemies


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