THE Lion went once a-hunting along with the Fox, the Jackal, and the Wolf. They hunted and they hunted till at last they surprised a Stag, and soon took its life. Then came the question how the spoil should be divided. “Quarter me this Stag,” roared the Lion; so the other animals skinned it and cut it into four parts. Then the Lion took his stand in front of the carcass and pronounced judgment: The first quarter is for me in my capacity as King of Beasts; the second is mine as arbiter; another share comes to me for my part in the chase; and as for the fourth quarter, well, as for that, I should like to see which of you will dare to lay a paw upon it.”
“Humph,” grumbled the Fox as he walked away with his tail between his legs; but he spoke in a low growl
”You may share the labours of the great, but you will not share the spoil.”
(Ro. i. 6).
Phaedrus, i. 5. The companions of the Lion in Phaedrus are a Cow, a Goat, and a Sheep. This seems to point to some mistranslation from an Indian original, though none such has been discovered. The medieval versions of Marie de France and Benedict of Oxford (Hebrew) have another version in which the Lion's partners are carnivorous, as is appropriate. Our expression, "Lion's share," comes from this fable, on which a special monograph has been written by C. Gorski, 1888 (Dissertation).
Lion’s Share, The
Fables of Aesop, The
Aesop & Jacobs, Joseph
Macmillan & Co.
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ATU 51: The Lion's Share