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Main > Arabic folktales > Fairy tale "The Fox and the Wolf"

The Fox and the Wolf

A fox and a wolf inhabited the same den, resorting thither together, and thus they remained a long time. But the wolf oppressed the fox; and it so happened that the fox counselled the wolf to assume benignity, and to abandon wickedness, saying to him, “If thou persevere in thine arrogance, probably God will give power over thee to a son of Adam; for he is possessed of stratagems, and artifice, and guile; he captureth the birds from the sky, and the fish from the sea, and cutteth the mountains and transporteth them; and all this he accomplisheth through his stratagems. Betake thyself, therefore, to the practice of equity, and relinquish evil and oppression; for it will be more pleasant to thy taste.” The wolf, however, received not his advice; on the contrary, he returned him a rough reply, saying to him, “Thou hast no right to speak on matters of magnitude and importance.” He then gave the fox such a blow that he fell down senseless; and when he recovered, he smiled in the wolf’s face, apologising for his shameful words, and recited these two verses:—

“If I have been faulty in my affection for you, and committed a deed of a shameful nature, I repent of my offence, and your clemency will extend to the evildoer who craveth forgiveness.”

So the wolf accepted his apology, and ceased from ill-treating him, but said to him, “Speak not of that which concerneth thee not, lest thou hear that which will not please thee.” The fox replied, “I hear and obey. I will abstain from that which pleaseth thee not; for the sage hath said, ‘Offer not information on a subject respecting which thou art not questioned; and reply not to words when thou art not invited; leave what concerneth thee not, to attend to that which doth concern thee; and lavish not advice upon the evil, for they will recompense thee for it with evil.’”

When the wolf heard these words of the fox, he smiled in his face; but he meditated upon employing some artifice against him, and said, “I must strive to effect the destruction of this fox.

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