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

The Fox and the Wolf

’” “O Abu-l-Hoseyn!” rejoined the wolf, “thou wast wont to manifest an affection for me, and to desire my friendship, and fear the greatness of my power. Be not, then, rancorous towards me for that which I have done unto thee; for he who hath one in his power, and yet forgiveth, will receive a recompense from God, and the poet hath said—

“‘Sow good, even on an unworthy soil; for it will not be fruitless wherever it is sown. Verily, good, though it remained long buried, none will reap but him who sowed it.’”

“O most ignorant of the beasts of prey!” said the fox, “and most stupid of the wild beasts of the regions of the earth, hast thou forgotten thy haughtiness, and insolence, and pride, and thy disregarding the rights of companionship, and thy refusing to be advised by the saying of the poet?—

“‘Tyrannise not, if thou hast the power to do so; for the tyrannical is in danger of revenge, Thine eye will sleep while the oppressed, wakeful, will call down curses on thee, and God’s eye sleepeth not.’”

“O Abu-l-Hoseyn!” exclaimed the wolf, “be not angry with me for my former offences, for forgiveness is required of the generous, and kind conduct is among the best means of enriching one’s-self. How excellent is the saying of the poet—

“‘Haste to do good when thou art able; for at every season thou hast not the power.’”

He continued to abase himself to the fox, and said to him, “Perhaps thou canst find some means of delivering me from destruction.” But the fox replied, “O artful, guileful, treacherous wolf! hope not for deliverance; for this is the recompense of thy base conduct, and a just retaliation.” Then, shaking his jaws with laughing, he recited these two verses—

“No longer attempt to beguile me; for thou wilt not attain thy object. What thou seekest from me is impossible. Thou hast sown, and reap, then, vexation.”

“O gentle one among the beasts of prey!” resumed the wolf, “thou art in my estimation more faithful than to leave me in this pit.” He then shed tears, and repeated this couplet—

“O thou whose favours to me have been many, and whose gifts have been more than can be numbered!

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