Dogs were once their own masters and lived the way wolves do, in freedom, until a dog was born who was ill pleased with this way of life. He was sick and tired of wandering about by himself looking for food and being frightened of those who were stronger than he.
He thought it over and decided that the best thing for him to do was to become the servant of one who was stronger than anyone on earth, and he set out to find such a master.
He walked and he walked and he met a kinsman of his, a big wolf who was as strong as he was fierce.
"Where are you going, Dog?" the Wolf asked.
"I am looking for someone to take up service with. Would you like to be my master, Wolf?"
"I don't see why not!” the Wolf said, and this agreed upon, the two of them went on together.
They walked and they walked, and all of a sudden the Wolf lifted his nose, sniffed, darted quickly off the path and into the bushes and crept deeper into the forest.
The Dog was much surprised.
"What's come over you, master?" he asked. "What has frightened you so?”
"Can't you see? There's a Bear out there, and he might eat up both you and me.”
Seeing that the Bear was stronger than the Wolf, the Dog decided to take up service with him, and he left the Wolf and asked the Bear to be his master. The Bear agreed to this readily and said:
"Let us go and find a herd of cows. I'll kill a cow and then we can both eat our fill."
They walked on and soon saw a herd of cows, but just as they were about to come up to it they were stopped by a terrible noise. Tne cows were mooing loudly and running in a panic in all directions.
The Bear looked out from behind a tree, and then he too ran hastily deeper into the forest.
"Now, why did I have to come here!" said he to the Dog. "It is the Lion who rules the forest in these parts."
"The Lion? Who's he?"
"Don’t you know? He is the strongest beast on earth!”
"Well, then, I ’ll say goodbye to you, Bear. I want a master who is stronger than anyone on earth!"
And off the Dog went to ask the Lion to be his master.
The Lion agreed to it, and the Dog stayed with him and served him for a long, long time. It was a good life, and he had nothing to complain of, for there was no stronger beast in the forest than the Lion, and no one dared touch the Dog or offend him in any way.
But one day the two of them were walking side by side along a path that ran amid bare cliffs when all of a sudden the Lion stopped. He gave a great roar, struck the ground angrily with his paw with such force that a hole formed there, and began to back away very quietly.
"What is it, master, is anything wrong?" asked the Dog, surprised.
"I smell a man coming this way," the Lion said. "We'd better run for it or we'll be in trouble."
"Oh, well, then I'll say goodbye to you, Lion. I want a master who is stronger than anyone on earth!"
And off the Dog went to join the man and he stayed with him and served him faithfully.
This happened long, long ago, but to this day the dog is man's most loyal servant and knows no other master.