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

The Fox and the Wolf

But thou art like a man whom a disease attacked, and to whom there came a man suffering from the same disease to cure him, saying to him, ‘Shall I cure thee of thy disease?’ The first man, therefore, said to the other, ‘Why hast thou not begun by curing thyself?’ So he left him and went his way. And thou, O wolf, art in the same case. Remain, then, in thy place, and endure that which hath befallen thee.”

Now when the wolf heard these words of the fox, he knew that he had no kindly feeling for him; so he wept for himself, and said, “I have been careless of myself; but if God deliver me from this affliction, I will assuredly repent of my overbearing conduct unto him that is weaker than I; and I will certainly wear wool, and ascend the mountains, commemorating the praises of God (whose name be exalted!) and fearing His punishment; and I will separate myself from all the other wild beasts, and verily I will feed the warriors in defence of the religion and the poor.” Then he wept and lamented; and thereupon the heart of the fox was moved with tenderness for him. On hearing his humble expressions, and the words which indicated his repenting of arrogance and pride, he was affected with compassion for him, and, leaping with joy, placed himself at the brink of the pit, and sat upon his hind-legs and hung down his tail into the cavity. Upon this the wolf arose, and stretched forth his paw towards the fox’s tail, and pulled him down to him; so the fox was with him in the pit. The wolf then said to him, “O fox of little compassion! wherefore didst thou rejoice in my misfortune? Now thou hast become my companion, and in my power. Thou hast fallen into the pit with me, and punishment hath quickly overtaken thee. The sages have said, ‘If any one of you reproach his brother for deriving his nourishment from miserable means, he shall experience the same necessity,’ and how excellent is the saying of the poet—

“‘When fortune throweth itself heavily upon some, and encampeth by the side of others, Say to those who rejoice over us, “Awake: the rejoicers over us shall suffer as we have done.

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