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

The Fox and the Wolf

” As to the fox, however, he bore patiently the injurious conduct of the wolf, saying within himself, “Verily, insolence and calumny occasion destruction, and betray one into perplexity; for it hath been said, ‘He who is insolent suffereth injury, and he who is ignorant repenteth, and he who feareth is safe: moderation is one of the qualities of the noble, and good manners are the noblest gain.’ It is advisable to behave with dissimulation towards this tyrant, and he will inevitably be overthrown.” He then said to the wolf, “Verily the Lord pardoneth and becometh propitious unto His servant when he hath sinned; and I am a weak slave, and have committed a transgression in offering thee advice. Had I foreknown the pain that I have suffered from thy blow, I had known that the elephant could not withstand nor endure it; but I will not complain of the pain of that blow, on account of the happiness that hath resulted unto me from it; for, if it had a severe effect upon me, its result was happiness; and the sage hath said, ‘The beating inflicted by the preceptor is at first extremely grievous; but in the end it is sweeter than clarified honey!’” So the wolf said, “I forgive thine offence, and cancel thy fault; but beware of my power, and confess thyself my slave; for thou hast experienced my severity unto him who showeth me hostility.” The fox, therefore, prostrated himself before him, saying to him, “May God prolong thy life, and mayest thou not cease to subdue him who opposeth thee!” And he continued to fear the wolf, and to dissemble towards him.

After this the fox went one day to a vineyard, and saw in its wall a breach; but he suspected it, saying unto himself, “There must be some cause for this breach, and it hath been said, ‘Whoso seeth a hole in the ground, and doth not shun it, and be cautious of advancing to it boldly, exposeth himself to danger and destruction.’ It is well known that some men make a figure of the fox in the vineyard, and even put before it grapes in plates, in order that a fox may see it, and advance to it, and fall into destruction.

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