~ 5. The Lion and the Mouse ~

As a mouse ran over a sleeping lion, the lion awoke and grabbed her.
"Let me go, please!" squeaked the mouse. "I'll repay your kindness, I promise!"
"What could you ever do for me?" scoffed the lion. "I'm letting you go only because it's not worth my time to kill you."
A few days later, the lion was caught in a hunter's snare. He roared in terror, and the little mouse ran to the rescue, gnawing through the ropes and freeing the lion.
"I was wrong about you," said the grateful lion. "You're a good friend to have after all."

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 208 in the book, which is Perry 150.


  1. "True Penance"
    -by hardy parkerson

    Latin is a language
    As hard as it can be;
    You can speak it to your neighbor,
    You can speak it to a tree.

    Neither will understand you,
    No, not in the least;
    That is, unless your neighbor
    Is a Roman Catholic priest.

    Then you can tell him, "MEA CULPA,
    That Latin confessional sentence;
    And he'll tell you go and sin no more
    And read some Latin as your penance.

    When I quote this to a LA priest,
    they always seem to like it. s/Hardy P.

  2. In your Aesop's Fables book, is the name you list (for this fable, Adémar), the author of the earliest recorded version of the fable? So in this case, would that mean the first recorded version of the fable is medieval?

  3. I just chose the versions of the fables I liked best, not based on earliest recorded version. One way to get a rough sense of the earliest recorded version is to look at the Perry number: Perry 1-471 are attested in Greek; then Perry 472-584 and higher are attested in Latin but not in Greek (Phaedrus, Avainus, etc.), and Perry 585-725 are post-classical Latin, but he was not very systematic in his indexing of those later Latin fables. If you are interested in the larger corpus, I highly recommend getting a copy of the Loeb edition of Perry's Babius and Phaedrus which has a MASSIVE 200-page appendix that provides summaries of all the fables that are not in Babrius and Phaedrus