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The Ass Dressed In The Lion's Skin

(Recueil 1, Livre 5, Fable 21)



Clad in a lion's shaggy hide,

An ass spread terror far and wide,

And, though himself a coward brute,

Put all the world to scampering rout:

But, by a piece of evil luck,

A portion of an ear outstuck,

Which soon revealed the error

Of all the panic-terror.

Old Martin did his office quick.

Surprised were all who did not know the trick,

To see that Martin, at his will,

Was driving lions to the mill!

In France, the men are not a few

Of whom this fable proves too true;

Whose valour chiefly does reside

In coat they wear and horse they ride.

Jean de La Fontaine

Book 5, Fable 21



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