Androcles and the Lion – AESOP’S FABLES (return favors and favors will be bestowed on you / gratitude is the sign of noble souls)

Androcles and the Lion

A thorn had pierced a lion’s foot;

And much it roared and wailed.

Just then a slave named Androcles

Approached and saw what ailed.

With pitying skill, he dared to draw

The sliver from the lion’s paw.

Thereat the creature licked his hands;

And soon the beast and slave,

Close friends, were living side by side

Within a desert cave,

Until one day, by sad mishap,

Some hunters caught them in a trap.

Then in the city, scarcely fed,

The great majestic beast

Was led into a circus pit,

Where he could make a feast

Upon a slave they threw to him,

While crowds looked on, intent and grim.

With a great bound, forward he sprang,

Hungry to snatch his prey,

Then haled, and in wild delight

Began to frisk and play,

Seeing the slave, now quite at ease,

Was his old comrade Androcles.

The Emperor, when he heard the tale,

Ordered the man set free,

While in his native wood the beast

Received his liberty.

“For gratitude,” the sovereign said,

“Sometimes is more than wine or bread.”

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