The lion's wife had died, and all the animals came to her funeral.
They were all weeping for their queen, except for the deer. The lion-queen had eaten many fawns, and the deer was glad she was dead.
"Why do you not weep?" asked the lion angrily.
The deer quickly thought up a story. "Our queen came to me in a dream," she said, "and told me she had reached the Elysian Fields with all the other blessed animals. She doesn't want us to grieve for her."
The lion rejoiced and even rewarded the deer.
Sometimes a lie is safest.
Inspired by: Mille Fabulae et Una, a collection of Latin fables that I've edited, free to read online. I am not translating the Latin here; instead, I am just telling a 100-word version of the fable.
Notes: This is fable 160 in the book, which is not in Perry; it is one of Abstemius's fables.
(illustration by Grandville)