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Better be the head of a dog than the tail of a lion

Another old proverb says the same thing more clearly: ‘Better be the head of the yeomanry than the tail of the gentry.’ In other words, it’s better to hold a high position at a low level than the hold a low position at a high level.

‘They have thrown me out of the first team,’ said Fred, ‘and made me captain of the second.’

‘You should be glad about that,’ smiled his friend. ‘Better be the head of a dog than the tail of lion.’