Aesop's Fables: More Foxes

These fables are part of the Aesop's Fables (English) unit. Story source: Story source: Fables of Aesop and Other Eminent Mythologists by Roger L'Estrange (1692).

Aesop's Fables: More Foxes

A Boar and a Fox

As a Boar was whetting his Teeth against a Tree, up comes a Fox to him.

"Pray, what do you mean by That?" says he, "for I see no occasion for't."

"Well," says the Boar, "but I do; for when I come once to be set upon, 'twill be too late for me to be Whetting when I should be Fighting."

No Man, or State can be safe in Peace, that is no always in readiness to encounter an Enemy in Case of War.

A Fox and a Divining Cock

A Fox that had spy'd out a Cock at Roost upon a Tree, and out of his Reach, fell all of a sudden into an Extravagant Fit of Kindness for him; and to Enlarge upon the Wonderful Esteem he had for the Faculties and good Graces of the Bird, but more particularly for his Skill in Divination, and the Foreknowledge of Things to come.

"Oh," says he, "that I were but Worthy the Friendship of so great a Prophet!"

This Flattery brought the Cock down from the Tree into the very Mouth of the Fox, and so away he Trudges with him into the Woods; reflecting still as he went, upon the strange Force that Fair Words have upon vain Fools: "For this Sot of a Cock," says he, "to take himself for a Diviner, and yet not foresee at the same time, that if he fell into my Clutches, I should certainly make a Supper of him."

A Fool that will Swallow Flattery, shall never want a Knave to give it him.

A Fox and a Cock

A Hungry Fox that had got a Cock in his Eye, and could not tell how to come at him; cast himself at his length upon the Ground, and there he lay winking and pinking as if he had Sore Eyes.

"Ah," says he to the Cock, "I have gotten a Thorn here, with Creeping through a hedge t'other Day; 'twould be the greatest Charity in the World, if you would but help me out with it."

"Why truly," says the Cock, "I am no Oculist, and if I should go to Help One Eye, and put Out T'other with my Spur, we should have but an Untoward Business on't; but if you are not in very great Haft, I can fly Home in a Trice, and bring ye One that shall certainly Cure ye."

The Fox finding 'twas all but Banter: "Well," says he, "'tis no Great Matter then; for the more Physicians, the more Danger, they say."

Shuffling and Fencing, is in many Cases both Allowable and Necessary: Especially where Craft is to be Encounter'd with Craft.

A Cock and a Fox

A Fox spy'd a Cock at Roost with his Hens about him.

"Why how, my Friend," says Reynard, "what makes you upon a Tree there? Your Bus'ness lies upon the Terra Firma, and a Cock in the Air is out of his Element, methinks. But you don't hear the News perhaps, and it is certainly true: There's a General Peace concluded among all Living Creatures, and not one of them to presume, upon Pain of Life and Limb, directly or indirectly, to hurt another."

"The Blessedest Tidings in the World," says the Cock; and at the same time he stretches out his Neck, as if he were a looking at somewhat a great way off.

"What are you Peering at?" says the Fox.

"Nothing," says t'other, "but a Couple of Great Dogs younder, that are coming this Way, Open-Mouth, as hard as they can drive."

"Why then," says Reynard, "I fancy I'd e'ev best be Jogging."

"No, no, "says the Cock, "the General Peace will secure you."

"Ay," quoth the Fox, "so it will; but if these Roguy Curs should not have heard of the Proclamation, my Coat may come to be Pink'd yet for all that."

And so away he scamper'd.

In all the Liberties of Sharping and Tricking one upon another, there must still a Regard be had to the Punctilio's of Honour and Justice.

A Fox and a Cat

There was a Question started betwixt a Fox and a Cat which of the Two could make the best Shift in the World if they were put to a Pinch.

"For my own Part," says Reynard, "when the worst comes to the worst, I have a whole Budget of Tricks to come off with at last."

At that very Instant, up comes a Pack of Dogs full cry towards them. The Cat presently takes a Tree, and sees the poor Fox torn to Pieces upon the very Spot.

"Well," says Puss to her self, "one sure Trick, I find, is better than a Hundred slippery ones."

Nature has provided better for us, than we could have done for our selves.

Next: Lions

(800 words)

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