A fawn met a little tiger, and said, "What fine stripes you have!"
The little tiger said, "What fine spots you have!"
Then the fawn said, "It would be such a nice thing if you and I were to live together as friends. We might then roam through the woods as we like, and be so happy!"
"I think so too," said the tiger.
The two joined hands, and went out for a long walk. It was breakfast time. The fawn saw some fine grass in the lawn, and said to himself, "One should first see his friend fed and then feed." So he turned to the tiger and said, "Will you have some of this fine grass for your breakfast?"
The tiger put his nose to the grass; but could not bring himself to feed on it, because it was against his nature; so he replied, "I am so sorry, I cannot eat it!"
Then the fawn said, "Allow me to go home for one moment and ask mamma for something that would suit you for breakfast."
So the fawn went home and told the hind of the happy friendship he had formed, and of all that had happened since.
The hind replied, "Child, how lucky it is that you have come away! You must know the tiger is the most deadly enemy we have in the woods."
At these words the fawn drew near to his dam and trembled.
The hind said, "It is indeed lucky to get away from the wicked at the first hint!"
A young lion and a young fox once went out together for an evening stroll. Venus, the evening star, had just risen. The fox said, "Ah, how I wish I could go to the star and play with it!"
The lion said, "Ah, how I wish the star would come here and play with me!"
An owl, who had heard their words from a neighbouring tree, said, "The character of each is known by his words."
A fox that lived by the sea-shore once met a wolf that had never seen the sea. The wolf said, "What is the sea?"
"It is a great piece of water by my dwelling," said the fox.
"Is it under your control?" said the wolf.
"Certainly," said the fox.
"Will you show me the sea, then?" said the wolf.
"With pleasure," said the fox. So the fox led the wolf to the sea, and said tothe waves, "Now go back," they went back!" Now come up," and they came up! Then the fox said to the waves, "My friend, the wolf has come to see you r so you will come up and go back till I bid you stop; "and the wolf saw, with wonder, the waves coming up and going back.
He said to the fox, "May I go into the sea?"
"As far as you like. Don't be afraid, for, at a word, the sea would go or come as I bid, and as you have already seen."
The wolf believed the fox, and followed the waves rather far from the shore. A great wave soon upset him, and threw up his carcass on the shore. The fox made a hearty breakfast on it, saying, "The fool's ear was made for the knave's tongue."
Four owls went out, each to a part of the world, to see how people liked things, ill and false, and came back to tell of what they had seen.
The owl that went north said, "I saw, by a stream, the fish make mouths at the birds. They further said, ' Look at our fins and their wings, how queer they are!'"
The owl that went south said, "I saw on a hill a fly of fair hues go by the door of a hive; the bees said, 'Look, he has come to beg of us for some food.' The fly said to a friend of his, 'These rogues, I mean the bees, stole the sweets from the blooms when the air was dry, so now I have naught to eat when it is cold.'"
The owl that went east said, "I saw in a wood a leopard go out from his den. The wolf went with him a few yards, came back, and said to a friend of his, "The leopard is a knave, yet I cling to him, for he is strong."
The owl that went west said, "I saw a bear pass by a lion's den. A fox close by said the bear went to make love to the lion's mate, but was sent back with a box on his ear."
The four owls together said, "Where the sun shines, there scandal is."
A wolf was often cheated of his prey by a fox; so he thought the best way of getting rid of his enemy would be to carry tales against him to the tiger, who was the king of the forest.
So one fine morning he went to the lair of the king, and said, "Good morning, your majesty."
"What news, my good fellow?" said the king.
"Ah, I have such news," said the wolf, "as would only increase your anger against that reckless villain Reynard; but, as he is my friend, I think it better to keep it from my sovereign."
This only made the tiger more eager to know what the wolf had to say. He therefore commanded him to disclose all that Reynard had done.
Said the wolf, "Yesterday there was a meeting of all the animals in the forest, to confer as to the best method of expressing their gratitude for all the blessings they have received from your majesty. I was anxious to know if there was any among them that had ill-feelings towards my sovereign. So I began by pretending to speak ill of your majesty to Reynard. He instantly replied, ( Oh, I quite agree with you! There is no greater tyrant than our present king. The sooner he is got rid of, the better/ I should have laid the matter at once before your majesty; but, as it was late in the night, I could not do so.^
The tiger raged with fury; and sending for Reynard then and there, said, "Villain, did you speak ill of us?"
"I did, your majesty," said the fox.
"Why?" said the tiger, in a thundering voice.
"Because," said the fox, in tones equally loud and furious, pointing to the wolf, "that villain there began to slander the character of my benign sovereign, and I was eager, come what would, to find out what the depth of his malice was!"
The tiger was astonished to see the tables thus turned on the wolf. He was further at a loss to know who the culprit really was. So he sent them away, with the remark, "It is a villain that cheats a villain best!"
A fox went into a farmyard to see if any poultry could be got; but, finding the people wary and the yard well secured, he was returning with a dejected countenance, when the farmer's dog accosted him thus: "Reynard, where have you been?"
"Ah! Mr. Mastiff," said the fox, "I have just been into the farmyard to see if any of my kindred were there."
"Did you find any?" said the mastiff.
"No, I did not; and that is the reason why I am returning," said the fox, and left the place.
"Ah," muttered the mastiff, "the liar may have a plea ready-made for every turn!"