The Mama-Bear and the Lioness

According to legend, bear cubs are born as shapeless lumps of flesh, without limbs or even a head. But the mother-bear knows what to do: she licks her cubs into shape. It takes a lot of time and a lot of licking for the mama-bear to fashion her babies into actual bear-cubs.
One day a lioness walked by and saw a she-bear licking her cub. She laughed scornfully at the she-bear and said, "You can lick all you want, Mama-Bear! No matter how hard you try, that's going to be a bear, nothing to compare to my handsome lion-cub."

Inspired byMille 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 131 in the book, which is not in Perry's catalog. The story comes from the neo-Latin fabulist Desbillons, but the legend of the she-bear licking her cubs is part of the bestiary tradition, dating back to Pliny the Elder.

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