The Wild Ass and The Lion

The lion allied with other animals to hunt so that more prey could be caught. When it came time to divide the spoils the lion made it clear all was his.

Might makes right.

Aesop For ChildrenAesop For Children (The Lion’s Share)

Lion's Share

Milo Winter (1919)

A long time ago, the Lion, the Fox, the Jackal, and the Wolf agreed to go hunting together, sharing with each other whatever they found.

One day the Wolf ran down a Stag and immediately called his comrades to divide the spoil.

Without being asked, the Lion placed himself at the head of the feast to do the carving, and, with a great show of fairness, began to count the guests.

“One,” he said, counting on his claws, “that is myself the Lion. Two, that’s the Wolf, three, is the Jackal, and the Fox makes four.”

He then very carefully divided the Stag into four equal parts.

“I am King Lion,” he said, when he had finished, “so of course I get the first part. This next part falls to me because I am the strongest; and this is mine because I am the bravest.”

He now began to glare at the others very savagely. “If any of you have any claim to the part that is left,” he growled, stretching his claws meaningly, “now is the time to speak up.”


Might makes right.

Townsend VersionTownsend version

A wild ass and a Lion entered into an alliance so that they might capture the beasts of the forest with greater ease. The Lion agreed to assist the Wild Ass with his strength, while the Wild Ass gave the Lion the benefit of his greater speed. When they had taken as many beasts as their necessities required, the Lion undertook to distribute the prey, and for this purpose divided it into three shares. “I will take the first share,” he said, “because I am King: and the second share, as a partner with you in the chase: and the third share (believe me) will be a source of great evil to you, unless you willingly resign it to me, and set off as fast as you can.”


Might makes right.

CaldecottCaldecott (The Lion and Other Beasts)

Lion and Beasts C1

Design: Randolph Caldecott, Engraving: J.D. Cooper, 1883

Lion and Beasts C2

Design: Randolph Caldecott, Engraving: J.D. Cooper, 1883

The Lion one day went out hunting along with three other Beasts, and they caught a Stag. With the consent of the others the Lion divided it, and he cut it into four equal portions; but when the others were going to take hold of their shares, “Gently, my friends,” said the Lion; “the first of these portions is mine, as one of the party; the second also is mine, because of my rank among beasts; the third you will yield me as a tribute to my courage and nobleness of character; while, as to the fourth,—why, if any one wishes to dispute with me for it, let him begin, and we shall soon see whose it will be.”

Lion and Beasts C3

Design: Randolph Caldecott, Engraving: J.D. Cooper, 1883

 Lion and Beasts C4

JBR CollectionJBR Collection

A Lion, a Heifer, a Goat, and a Sheep once agreed to share whatever each might catch in hunting. A fine fat stag fell into a snare set by the Goat, who thereupon called the rest together. The Lion divided the stag into four parts. Taking the best piece for himself, he said, “This is mine of course, as I am the Lion; ” taking another portion, he added, “This too is mine by right–the right, if you must know, of the strongest.” Further, putting aside the third piece, “That’s for the most valiant,” said he; “and as for the remaining part, touch it if you dare.”

L'Estrange VersionL’Estrange version (A Lion, An Ass, &c., a Hunting)

A lion, an ass, and some other of their fellow-forresters, went a hunting one day; and every one to go share and share-like in what they took. They pluck’d down a stag, and cut him up into so many parts; but as they were entering upon the dividend, Hands-off says the lion: this part is mine by the privilege of my quality: this, because I’ll have it in spite of your teeth: this again, because I took most pains for’t; and if you dispute the fourth, we must e’en pluck a crow about it. So the confederates mouths were all stopt, and they went away as mute as fishes.


There’s no entring into leagues or partnerships, with those that are either too powerful, or too crafty for us. He that has the staff in his hand will be his own carver. Bought wit is best.

1001Leo, Vacca, Capra, et Ovis

Societatem aliquando iunxerant leo, vacca, capra, et ovis. Cervum permagnum cum cepissent, leo praedam divisit in quattuor partes aequales. Tum ita locutus est, “Prima pars mea est, quia sum leo; secundum mihi tribuetis, quia sum fortissimus; tertiam mihi sumo propter egregium laborem meum; quartam qui tetigerit, iram meam excitabit.” Sic totam praedam solus retinuit.

Perry #339