The Lion and The Bull

A Lion tried to trick a Bull to his lair by inviting to share a killed sheep. On approach, the Bull saw tools but no sheep and turned and left. Very wise!

When a man has both an interest and an inclination to betray us, there’s no trusting him.

Townsend VersionTownsend version

A lion, greatly desiring to capture a Bull, and yet afraid to attack him on account of his great size, resorted to a trick to ensure his destruction. He approached the Bull and said, “I have slain a fine sheep, my friend; and if you will come home and partake of him with me, I shall be delighted to have your company.” The Lion said this in the hope that, as the Bull was in the act of reclining to eat, he might attack him to advantage, and make his meal on him. The Bull, on approaching the Lion’s den, saw the huge spits and giant caldrons, and no sign whatever of the sheep, and, without saying a word, quietly took his departure. The Lion inquired why he went off so abruptly without a word of salutation to his host, who had not given him any cause for offense. “I have reasons enough,” said the Bull. “I see no indication whatever of your having slaughtered a sheep, while I do see very plainly every preparation for your dining on a bull.”

L'Estrange VersionL’Estrange version

In the days of yore, when bulls lived upon mutton, there was a lyon had a design upon a mighty bull, and gave him a very civil invitation to come and sup with him; for, says he, I have gotten a sheep, and you must needs take part on’t. The bull promised, and went; but so soon as ever he saw what a clutter there was with huge, over-grown pots, pans, and spits, away he scowr’d immediately. The lyon presently call’d after him, and ask’d him, whither in such hast? Oh, says the bull, ’tis high time for me to be jogging, when I see such preparation: for this provision looks as if you were to have a bull for your supper, rather then a mutton.


When a man has both an interest and an inclination to betray us, there’s no trusting him.

1001Taurus et Leo, Cenantes

Leo, immani tauro insidias struens, eo potiri quoquo modo conabatur. Eum itaque his verbis olim compellans, “Amice,” ait, “pecudem mactavi; hodie, si lubet, una convivabimur.” Hoc ille dolo recumbentem taurum aggredi ac devorare meditabatur. Is itaque, cum ad eum venisset ac multas ollas veruaque ingentia, pecudem vero nullam vidisset, nihil fatus, ab antro discessit. Taurum ergo leo increpans reique huiusce causam intellegere volens, rogabat, quidnam inde, iniuriis nullis acceptis, ne salutato quidem hospite, abiret. Sed taurus “Haud temere id facio atque hinc diffugio,” respondit; “video enim non pro pecude, sed pro tauro haec omnia parari.”

Perry #143