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Polaris AB: The Fable Collection of Short Stories
The Lion had just finished a hearty meal of Wildebeest and lay there in contentment, his stomach full and extended.
His Lioness wandered up to him, but before settling down next to him, she glanced his way with a look of disgust and quickly walked away. The Lion thought to himself - 'well, I am a handsome fellow so it cannot be the way I look, it must be the smell of the Wildebeest'.
He called on a Sheep to come towards him and asked her if his breath smelled.
"Baaaaa. You reek of dead flesh, my Lord" she replied honestly.
In his anger, he jumped up and bit off her head for being so blunt towards him.
He called on the Wolf to come to him and asked again, "Do I smell bad to you Wolf"?
"Oh no my King, you smell as sweet as the flowers in the meadow" - the Wolf charmingly responded.
The Lion pounced on the Wolf bringing his life swiftly to an end.
"I despise flatterers" he muttered to himself.
Next, he called on the Fox to come forward and said to him -
"Tell me truthfully Fox, is there an evil stench about me?"
"I cannot help you Sire", replied the wily fox, "I am full of cold and have no nose to smell anything. I can come back in a week if you wish and let you know then."
And the Moral of the Story is:
Honesty is not always the best way of revealing truth about those who would cause you harm.
In times of danger, the wise say nothing until securing a position of safety.
Aesop's Fables c.600 B.C.