The Fox and the Wolf
forget not my case, nor delay my deliverance.”
The fox, however, uttered a loud laugh, and replied, “O thou deceived! it was nothing but my jesting with thee and deriding thee that entrapped me into thy power; for when I heard thy profession of repentance, joy excited me, and I was moved with delight, and danced, and my tail hung down into the pit; so thou didst pull me, and I fell by thee. Then God (whose name be exalted!) delivered me from thy hand. Wherefore, then, should I not aid in thy destruction when thou art of the associates of the devil? Know that I dreamt yesterday that I was dancing at thy wedding, and I related the dream to an interpreter, who said to me, ‘Thou wilt fall into a frightful danger, and escape from it.’ So I knew that my falling into thy power and my escape was the interpretation of my dream. Thou, too, knowest, O deceived idiot! that I am thine enemy. How, then, dost thou hope, with thy little sense and thine ignorance, that I will deliver thee, when thou hast heard what rude language I used? And how shall I endeavour to deliver thee, when the learned have said that by the death of the sinner are produced ease to mankind and purgation of the earth? Did I not fear that I should suffer, by fidelity to thee, such affliction as would be greater than that which may result from perfidy, I would consider upon means for thy deliverance.” So when the wolf heard the words of the fox, he bit his paw in repentance. He then spoke softly to him, but obtained nothing thereby. With a low voice he said to him, “Verily, you tribe of foxes are the sweetest of people in tongue, and the most pleasant in jesting, and this is jesting in thee; but every time is not convenient for sport and joking.” “O idiot!” replied the fox, “jesting hath a limit which its employer transgresseth not. Think not that God will give thee possession of me after He hath delivered me from thy power.” The wolf then said to him, “Thou art one in whom it is proper to desire my liberation, on account of the former brotherhood and friendship that subsisted between us; and if thou deliver me, I will certainly recompense thee well.