Aesop FablesBedtime StoriesChildren's books

The foolish Stag

There lived a stag in a forest, and one day he was very thirsty. After searching for water, he found a lake nearby and bent down to the lake to drink. As he bent over the surface, he saw his reflection in the water, and greatly admired the graceful arch of his antlers, he greatly admired the size and variety of them and became proud.

Ah!, he thought, “What a great pair of branching horns are there! How gracefully do those antlers hang over my forehead, and give an agreeable turn to my whole face! If some other parts of my body were but proportionable to them, I would turn my back to nobody”;

Then he saw his legs in reflection and but he became very much ashamed of his spindling legs.

“How can it be,” he sighed, “that I should be cursed with such legs when I have so magnificent a crown.”

At that moment he scented a panther and in an instant was bounding away through the forest. But as he ran, his wide-spreading antlers caught in the branches of the trees. More he tried to free himself, the more difficult it became. As the stag was struggling to get free, the panther came nearer and nearer.

The stag was realizing his mistake and thought that how he praised his horns and but they proved to be useless ornaments on his head. Now he understood the real value of his legs, which almost took him to safety. Soon the panther caught him, and he was the food of the panther now.


He that does not thoroughly know himself, may be well allowed to make a false judgment upon other matters that most nearly concern him.

About author

'The foolish stag' or also known as 'The Stag at The Pool' is a story from famous Aesop's fables. Aesop's Fables is a 2000 collection of 61 fables from the Aesop ouvre, retold by Jerry Pinkney. It includes stories about many animals and every story teaches a lesson about life.
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