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THE FOX, THE LION AND THE FOOTPRINTS



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THE FOX, THE LION AND THE FOOTPRINTS
A lion had grown old and weak. He pretended to be sick, which was just a ruse to make the other animals come pay their respects so that he could eat them all up, one by one. The fox also came to see the lion, but she greeted him from outside the cave. The lion asked the fox why she didn't come in. The fox replied, 'Because I see the tracks of those going in, but none coming out.'
Other people's lives are lessons in how we can avoid danger: it is easy to enter the house of a powerful man, but once you are inside, it may already be too late to get out.

Chambry 196 = Perry 142


Chambry 196 Λέων γηράσας καὶ ἀλώπηξ.
Λέων γηράσας καὶ μὴ δυνάμενος δι' ἀλκῆς ἑαυτῷ τροφὴν πορίζειν ἔγνω δεῖν δι' ἐπινοίας τοῦτο πρᾶξαι. Καὶ δὴ παραγενόμενος εἴς τι σπήλαιον καὶ ἐνταῦθα κατακλιθεὶς προσεποιεῖτο νοσεῖν· καὶ οὕτω τὰ παραγενόμενα πρὸς αὐτὸν ἐπὶ τὴν ἐπίσκεψιν ζῷα συνλαμβάνων κατήσθιε. Πολλῶν δὲ θηρίων καταναλωθέντων, ἀλώπηξ τὸ τέχνασμα αὐτοῦ συνεῖσα παρεγένετο, καὶ στᾶσα ἄποθεν τοῦ σπηλαίου ἐπυνθάνετο αὐτοῦ πῶς ἔχοι. Τοῦ δὲ εἰπόντος· "Κακῶς," καὶ τὴν αἰτίαν ἐρομένου δι' ἣν οὐκ εἴσεισιν, ἔφη· " Ἀλλ' ἔγωγε εἰσῆλθον ἄν, εἰ μὴ ἑώρων πολλῶν εἰσιόντων ἴχνη, ἐξιόντος δὲ οὐδενός."
Οὕτως οἱ φρόνιμοι τῶν ἀνθρώπων ἐκ τεκμηρίων προορώμενοι τοὺς κινδύνους ἐκφεύγουσιν.
Syntipas 37
Λέων γηράσας καὶ αλώπηξ
The Fox, the Lion and the Footprints = Perry 142 (English translation: Oxford Aesop 18)
Λέων γηράσας τις καὶ ἀτονήσας, καὶ ἑαυτὸν μὴ δυνάμενος διατρέφειν, ἐπειρᾶτο μηχανικῶς διαζῆν. νοσεῖν οὖν προσποιούμενος κατέκλινεν ἑαυτὸν ἔν τινι σπηλαίῳ· εἶτα τῶν ἄλλων θηρίων εἰς ἐπίσκεψιν αὐτοῦ παραγινομένων, εὐθὺς ἕκαστον αὐτῶν ἁρπάζων κατήσθιε. γνοῦσα δὲ ἡ ἀλώπηξ τὴν αὐτοῦ πανουργίαν οὐκ ἤθελε πρὸς αὐτὸν ἀνελθεῖν, ἀλλὰ μακρόθεν ἑστῶσα ἐπηρώτα τὸν λέοντα ὅπως δῆθεν τὰ κατ’ αὐτὸν ἔχει. ὁ δὲ πρὸς αὐτὴν ἔλεγε “τίνος χάριν οὐκ εἰσέρχῃ πρός με;” ἡ δὲ ἀλώπηξ ἀντέφησεν ὡς “πολλῶν ἴχνη ἐνταῦθα ἑώρακα εἰσελθόντων μέν, μὴ ἐξελθόντων δέ.”
Οὗτος δηλοῖ ὡς καὶ τοὺς ἀνθρώπους ἀφορᾶσθαι δεῖ τὰ τῶν πρακτέων ἐπικίνδυνα καὶ ἐξ αὐτῶν ἀποδιδράσκειν, ἀσφαλίζεσθαι δὲ καὶ απὸ τῶν δόλῳ καὶ ὑποκρίσει φιλίας πειρωμένων ἑταίρους λυμαίνεσθαι.
From Ben Perry’s Aesopica (Urbana IL: 195
Babrio 103

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