Aesop Fables 6
What ultimately woke up the sleeping lion was a mouse brushing its cheek on the lion’s face while it was sleeping. He chased him in a fit of wrath, caught him, and was ready to put him to death when the mouse pleaded with him in a pitiful tone, saying, “If you would just spare my life, I would be sure to reciprocate your charity.” (If you would only let me live, I would make it my duty to return your compassion.) The lion let him go after mocking him and laughing at him.
Soon after this, the hunters were successful in catching the lion and tied him down to the ground with strong ropes. This took place not too much longer after the previous event. The Mouse came up to him after identifying his roar, freed him by gnawing the rope with his teeth, and yelled “Free at last!” as he did so.
The rat added, “Now you know that it is possible for even a mouse to impart advantages on a lion. You mocked the concept of my ever being able to serve you, not expecting to receive from me any compensation of your kindness. Now you know that even a mouse can confer benefits on a lion.” You sneered off the possibility of my ever being able to assist you and did not anticipate receiving anything at all in return for the assistance you provided me.