Beginner II

The Old Lion and the Fox

Watch the fable, "The Old Lion and the Fox" (2009) in American Sign Language (ASL).

English translation

An old lion sat under the cave. He was so old that his teeth and claws were worn out that he no longer could get food, unlike in his young days. What could he do? He had gotten an idea.

The lion let all his neighbors know that he was very sick and old that his neighbours could visit him. As each animal came to visit him, the lion ate them up one by one.

A fox also came to visit the lion, but this time he stood at a safe distance from the lion. The lion said, "I am very pleased to see you." But, as the fox was cautious, he politely inquired, "How is your health?"

The lion replied, "Oh, I am very ill, badly sick. Oh, come closer, come here."

The fox kindly said, "Thank you for the invitation. But, I have noticed that there are many footprints leading into your cave. Where are the footprints coming out from your cave?"

ASL storytelling
Illustration by Milo Winter, 1919.


"Take warning from the misfortunes of others." -- The Aesop for Children

Grammar tips

Learn a few grammar tips from the story.

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Related posts

More stories? Check out The Cock and the Diamond: Aesop fable storytelling in ASL.

New to sign language? "Where do I start?" or "How do I start learning sign language?" This ASL Rookie guide lists some selected links to the tutorials for ASL beginners to get started and keep rolling. It may be a useful review for intermediate-level learners and ASL students as well.

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Expressing needs and wants

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Talking about activities

  1. Frequency of time: how often?

Are you able to carry everyday conversations in ASL? Are you a student in the intermediate levels and beyond, who wishes to boost up your signing skills? You've come to the selected tutorial series. (Some premium content are available to PatronPlus membership.)

Stories, poems, performance arts, etc. in sign language.

This documentation project follows a child's language acquisition, literacy development, and phonological acquisition in sign language, specifically ASL, from newborn to age five in a natural native-ASL environment and visual culture.