A LION used to prowl about a field in which Four Oxen used to dwell. Many a time he tried to attack them; but whenever he came near they turned their tails to one another, so that whichever way he approached them he was met by the horns of one of them. At last, however, they fell a-quarrelling among themselves, and each went off to pasture alone in a separate corner of the field. Then the Lion attacked them one by one and soon made an end of all four.
United we stand, divided we fall.
Avian, ed. Ellis, 18. Also Babrius 44 (Three Bulls). We have ancient pictorial representations of this fable. Cf. Helbig, Untersuchungen 93.
Four Oxen and the Lion, The
Fables of Aesop, The
Aesop & Jacobs, Joseph
Macmillan & Co.
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ATU 119B*: Horse's Defense against Wolves