Aesop's Fables

AT ONE TIME a very large and strong Wolf was born among the wolves, who exceeded all his fellow-wolves in strength, size, and swiftness, so that they unanimously decided to call him "Lion." The Wolf, with a lack of sense proportioned to his enormous size, thought that they gave him this name in earnest, and, leaving his own race, consorted exclusively with the lions. An old sly Fox, seeing this, said, "May I never make myself so ridiculous as you do in your pride and self-conceit; for even though you have the size of a lion among wolves, in a herd of lions you are definitely a wolf."

Also a fairy tale collected by the Brothers Grimm.


The wolf had the fox with him, and whatsoever the wolf wished, the fox was compelled to do, for he was the weaker, and he would gladly have gotten rid of his master.

It happened that one hay, as they were going through the forest, the wolf said,
"Red fox, fetch me something to eat, or I shall eat you yourself."
Then the fox answered,
"I know a farmyard where there are two young lambs; if you so wish, we shall fetch one of them."

That suited the wolf, and they went thither, and the fox stole a little lamb, took it to the wolf, and went away. The wolf devoured it, but was not satisfied with one; he wanted the other as well, and went to get it. However, as he did it so awkwardly, the mother of the little lamb heard him, and began to cry out terribly, and to bleat so much that the farmer and folks came running. There he found the wolf, and beat him so mercilessly that he hurried back to the fox, limping and howling.
"You have misled me finely," said he, "I wanted to fetch the other lamb, and the country folks surprised me, and have beaten me to a jelly."
The fox replied, "Why art thou such a glutton?"

Next day they again went into the country, and the greedy wolf once more said,
"Red fox, fetch me something to eat, or I shall eat you yourself."
Then answered the fox,
"I know a farmhouse where the wife is baking pancakes tonight; we shall get some for ourselves."

They went thither, and the fox slipped around the house, and peeped and sniffed about until he discovered where the dish was, and then took six pancakes and carried them to the wolf.
"There is something for thee to eat," said he to him, and then went away. The wolf swallowed down the pancakes in an instant, and said, "They make one want more," and went thither and tore the whole dish down so that it broke into pieces. He made such a great clatter that the farmer's wife came out, and when she saw the wolf she called her people, who hurried there and beat him as long as their sticks would hold together, until with two lame legs, and howling loudly, he went back to the fox in the forest.
"How abominably you have misled me!" cried he, "the peasants caught me, and tanned my skin for me."
But the fox replied, "Why are you such a glutton?"

On the third day, when they were out together, and the wolf could only limp along painfully, he again said,
"Red fox, fetch me something to eat, or I shall eat you yourself."
The fox answered,
"I know a man who has been killing, and the salted meat is sitting in a barrel in the cellar. We shall fetch that."
Said the wolf, "I shall go when you do, so that you may help me if I cannot get away."
"I am willing," said the fox, and showed him the byways and ways by which at length they reached the cellar. There was meat in abundance, and the wolf attacked it immediately and thought, "There is plenty of time before I must finish!" The fox liked it also, but looked about everywhere, and often ran to the hole by which they had come in, and tried to find whether his body was still thin enough to slip through it.

The wolf said, "Dear fox, tell me why thou art running here and there so much, and jumping in and out?"
"I must see that no one is coming," replied the crafty fellow. "Don't eat too much!"
Then said the wolf, "I shall not leave until the barrel is emptied."

Meanwhile the farmer, who had heard the noise of the fox's jumping, went to the cellar. When the fox saw him he leaped out of the hole in one bound. The wolf wanted to follow him, but he had made himself so fat from eating that he could no longer get through, and stuck fast. Then came the farmer with a cudgel and struck him dead, but the fox bounded into the forest, glad to be rid of the old glutton.

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