The Fox and the Wolf
” But the fox exclaimed, “O thou barbarous, hard-hearted wretch! I compare thee, with respect to the fairness of thy professions and the baseness of thine intention, to the falcon with the partridge.” “And what,” asked the wolf, “is the story of the falcon and the partridge?”
The fox answered, “I entered a vineyard one day to eat of its grapes, and while I was there, I beheld a falcon pounce upon a partridge; but when he had captured him, the partridge escaped from him and entered his nest, and concealed himself in it; whereupon the falcon followed him, calling out to him, ‘O idiot! I saw thee in the desert hungry, and, feeling compassion for thee, I gathered for thee some grain, and took hold of thee that thou mightest eat; but thou fleddest from me, and I see no reason for thy flight unless it be to mortify. Show thyself, then, and take the grain that I have brought thee and eat it, and may it be light and wholesome to thee.’ So when the partridge heard these words of the falcon, he believed him and came forth to him; and the falcon stuck his talons into him, and got possession of him. The partridge therefore said to him, ‘Is this that of which thou saidst that thou hadst brought for me from the desert, and of which thou saidst to me, “Eat it, and may it be light and wholesome to thee?” Thou hast lied unto me; and may God make that which thou eatest of my flesh to be a mortal poison in thy stomach!’ And when he had eaten it, his feathers fell off, and his strength failed, and he forthwith died.”
The fox then continued, “Know, O wolf, that he who diggeth a pit for his brother soon falleth into it himself; and thou behavedst with perfidy to me first.” “Cease,” replied the wolf, “from addressing me with this discourse, and propounding fables, and mention not unto me my former base actions. It is enough for me to be in this miserable state, since I have fallen into a calamity for which the enemy would pity me, much more the true friend. Consider some stratagem by means of which I may save myself, and so assist me.