A Fox swimming across a rapid river was carried by the force
of the current into a very deep ravine, where he lay for a long
time very much bruised, sick, and unable to move. A swarm of
hungry blood-sucking flies settled upon him. A Hedgehog,
passing by, saw his anguish and inquired if he should drive
away the flies that were tormenting him.
"By no means," replied the Fox; "pray do not molest them."
"How is this?" said the Hedgehog; "do you not want to be rid
"No," returned the Fox, "for these flies which you see are full of
blood, and sting me but little, and if you rid me of these which
are already satiated, others more hungry will come in their place,
and will drink up all the blood I have left."
(Translated by George Fyler Townsend, 1814-1900)