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Fable Aesop (620 BC - 560 BC)
The Fox And The Woodcutter

A Fox, running before the hounds, came across a Woodcutter
felling an oak and begged him to show him a safe hiding-place.
The Woodcutter advised him to take shelter in his own hut, so
the Fox crept in and hid himself in a corner. The huntsman soon
came up with his hounds and inquired of the Woodcutter if he
had seen the Fox. He declared that he had not seen him, and
yet pointed, all the time he was speaking, to the hut where the
Fox lay hidden. The huntsman took no notice of the signs, but
believing his word, hastened forward in the chase.

As soon as they were well away, the Fox departed without
taking any notice of the Woodcutter: whereon he called to him
and reproached him, saying, "You ungrateful fellow, you owe
your life to me, and yet you leave me without a word of thanks."

The Fox replied, "Indeed, I should have thanked you fervently
if your deeds had been as good as your words, and if your
hands had not been traitors to your speech."

(Translated by George Fyler Townsend, 1814-1900)


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