Aesop’s Fables: κώνωψ καὶ λέων (Mosquito and Lion)


κώνωψ πρὸς λέοντα ἐλθὼν εἶπεν·
«οὔτε φοβοῦμαί σε οὔτε δυνατώτερός μου εἶ· εἰ δὲ μή, τίς σοί ἐστιν ἡ δύναμις; ὅτι ξύεις τοῖς ὄνυξι καὶ δάκνεις τοῖς ὀδοῦσι; τοῦτο καὶ γυνὴ τῷ ἀνδρὶ μαχομένη ποιεῖ. ἐγὼ δὲ λίαν ὑπάρχω σου ἰσχυρότερος. εἰ δὲ θέλεις, ἔλθωμεν καὶ εἰς πόλεμον.»
καὶ σαλπίσας ὁ κώνωψ ἐνεπήγετο δάκνων τὰ περὶ τὰς ῥῖνας αὐτοῦ ἄτριχα πρόσ ωπα. ὁ δὲ λέων τοῖς ἰδίοις ὄνυξι κατέλυεν ἑαυτὸν, ἕως οὗ ἠγανάκτησεν.
ὁ δὲ κώνωψ νικήσας τὸν λέοντα καὶ σαλπίσας καὶ ἐπινίκιον ᾄσας ἔπτατο. ἀράχνης δὲ δεσμῷ ἐμπλακείς, ἐσθιόμενος ἀπωδύρετο, ὅτι μεγίστοις πολεμῶν ὑπ’ εὐτελοῦς ζῴου, τῆς ἀράχνης, ἀπώλετο.

A mosquito, having come to a lion, said:
«Neither do I fear you nor are you stronger than me: After all, what is your power? That you scratch with your claws and bite with your teeth? This also does a woman fighting with her husband. But I am much stronger than you. If you like, let us start a fight!»
And trumpeting the mosquito attacked by biting (the lion’s) face around its nose (where it is) without fur. The lion was lacerating himself with his own claws up to the point that he got angry.
The mosquito, having defeated the lion and trumpeted and having sung a song of victory, flew off. But getting entangled in a spider web he lamented, while being eaten, that he, though fighting with the greatest, was killed by a worthless animal: the spider.

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