The Squirrel And The Lion 松鼠和狮子

A squirrel, merrily leaping on the branches of an oak tree, accidentally missed its hold and fell upon a lion who lay at the trunk, basking in the shade. His Majesty awoke in anger, and, raising his shaggy mane, displayed his terrific teeth to the trembling squirrel, who, in the most abject manner, begged forgiveness for the intrusion. “I grant you your life,” said the lion, “but on condition that you tell me the reason why you little beings are always so lively and happy, while my time passes so irksomely.”

“Yes, sire,” replied the squirrel, “I will, in return for your mercy, comply with your request; but he who speaks the truth ought to stand higher than he who hears it; permit me, therefore, to ascend the tree.”

The lion consented to this; and when the squirrel was out of his reach he thus addressed him, “You seek to know how I am always merry. Conscience gives me a joyous mind, and learns, sire, that the infallible recipe for happiness—a good conscience—you are in want of. You are day and night oppressed with the sting of iniquity for the crimes and wanton cruelties you have committed. How many animals have you devoured, while I have been employed in carrying nuts to alleviate the distresses of my poor brethren! You hate, and I love! Believe me, there is great meaning and truth in these words, and often have I heard my father observe when young, ‘Son, let your happiness be founded in virtue, and hilarity will be the constant inmate of your bosom.’”






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