The Fox and the Wolf
No misfortune hath ever yet befallen me but I have found thee ready to aid me in it.”
The fox replied, “O stupid enemy, how art thou reduced to humility, submissiveness, abjectness, and obsequiousness, after thy disdain, pride, tyranny, and haughtiness! I kept company with thee through fear of thine oppression, and flattered thee without a hope of conciliating thy kindness; but now terror hath affected thee, and punishment hath overtaken thee.” And he recited these two verses—
“O thou who seekest to beguile! thou hast fallen in thy base intention. Taste, then, the pain of shameful calamity, and be with other wolves cut off.”
The wolf still entreated him, saying, “O gentle one! speak not with the tongue of enmity, nor look with its eye; but fulfil the covenant of fellowship with me before the time for discovering a remedy shall have passed. Arise and procure for me a rope, and tie one end of it to a tree, and let down to me its other end, that I may lay hold of it. Perhaps I may so escape from my present predicament, and I will give thee all the treasures that I possess.” The fox, however, replied, “Thou hast prolonged a conversation that will not procure thy liberation. Hope not, therefore, for thy escape through my means; but reflect upon thy former wicked conduct, and the perfidy and artifice which thou thoughtest to employ against me, and how near thou art to being stoned. Know that thy soul is about to quit the world, and to perish and depart from it: then wilt thou be reduced to destruction, and an evil abode is it to which thou goest!” “O Abu-l-Hoseyn!” rejoined the wolf, “be ready in returning to friendship, and be not so rancorous. Know that he who delivereth a soul from destruction hath saved it alive, and he who saveth a soul alive is as if he had saved the lives of all mankind. Follow not a course of evil, for the wise abhor it; and there is no evil more manifest than my being in this pit, drinking the suffocating pains of death, and looking upon destruction, when thou art able to deliver me from the misery into which I have fallen.