A Lion, unable from old age and infirmities to provide himself with
food by force, resolved to do so by artifice. He returned to his den,
and lying down there, pretended to be sick, taking care that his
sickness should be publicly known. The beasts expressed their
sorrow, and came one by one to his den, where the Lion devoured
them. After many of the beasts had thus disappeared, the Fox
discovered the trick and presenting himself to the Lion, stood on
the outside of the cave, at a respectful distance, and asked him
how he was.
"I am very middling," replied the Lion, "but why do
you stand without? Pray enter within to talk with me."
"No, thank you," said the Fox. "I notice that there are many prints
of feet entering your cave, but I see no trace of any returning."
He is wise who is warned by the misfortunes of others.
(Translated by George Fyler Townsend, 1814-1900)