A stag overpowered by heat came to a spring to drink. Seeing his
own shadow reflected in the water, he greatly admired the size
and variety of his horns, but felt angry with himself for having
such slender and weak feet. While he was thus contemplating
himself, a Lion appeared at the pool and crouched to spring upon
him. The Stag immediately took to flight, and exerting his utmost
speed, as long as the plain was smooth and open kept himself
easily at a safe distance from the Lion. But entering a wood he
became entangled by his horns, and the Lion quickly came up to
him and caught him. When too late, he thus reproached himself:
"Woe is me! How I have deceived myself! These feet which would
have saved me I despised, and I gloried in these antlers which
have proved my destruction."
What is most truly valuable is often underrated.
(Translated by George Fyler Townsend, 1814-1900)