The Panther and The Shepherds

A Panther fell into a well. Some fed him and some pelted him. Overnight he recovered strength and leaped out of the well. He killed those who abused him.

Enemies are made by injury not kindness.

Townsend VersionTownsend version

A panther, by some mischance, fell into a pit. The Shepherds discovered him, and some threw sticks at him and pelted him with stones, while others, moved with compassion towards one about to die even though no one should hurt him, threw in some food to prolong his life. At night they returned home, not dreaming of any danger, but supposing that on the morrow they would find him dead. The Panther, however, when he had recruited his feeble strength, freed himself with a sudden bound from the pit, and hastened to his den with rapid steps. After a few days he came forth and slaughtered the cattle, and, killing the Shepherds who had attacked him, raged with angry fury. Then they who had spared his life, fearing for their safety, surrendered to him their flocks and begged only for their lives. To them the Panther made this reply: “I remember alike those who sought my life with stones, and those who gave me food aside, therefore, your fears. I return as an enemy only to those who injured me.”

1001Panthera et Rustici

In fossam delapsa panthera, accurrentibus rusticis supplicat, ne se innocentem et quae nulli ipsorum umquam damnum dederit, affligant. Hoc alii fieri oportere censent, alii insuper miserati illam, cibum offerunt. Neque defuere tamen qui fustibus et saxis male illam mulctarent et pro mortua semianimem relinquerent. Noctu panthera cum vires suas recollegisset, saltu e fossa evasit, et in silvas se recepit. Postea in illius loci rusticos hostiliter grassabatur, ac metuentibus iratae impetum universis, “Ego scio et novi,” inquit, “quibus meus casus dolori fuerit, qui mihi cibos proiecerint, sed neque illi a me ignorantur, a quibus pulsata et icta vulnerataque sum.”


Fabula monet ut miseris et in mala praecipitatis parcere velimus, ne, fortuna instaurata, accepta damna et contumelias ulciscantur.

Perry #494