A slave named Androcles once escaped
from his master and fled to the
forest. As he was wandering about
there he came upon a Lion lying down
moaning and groaning.
At first he turned to flee, but
finding that the Lion did not pursue
him, he turned back and went up to
him. As he came near, the Lion put
out his paw, which was all swollen
and bleeding, and Androcles found
that a huge thorn had got into it,
and was causing all the pain.
He pulled out the thorn and bound up
the paw of the Lion, who was soon
able to rise and lick the hand of
Androcles like a dog. Then the Lion
took Androcles to his cave, and
every day used to bring him meat
from which to live.
But shortly afterwards both
Androcles and the Lion were
captured, and the slave was
sentenced to be thrown to the Lion,
after the latter had been kept
without food for several days.
The Emperor and all his Court came
to see the spectacle, and Androcles
was led out into the middle of the
arena. Soon the Lion was let loose
from his den, and rushed bounding
and roaring towards his victim. But
as soon as he came near to Androcles
he recognised his friend, and fawned
upon him, and licked his hands like
a friendly dog.