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The Lion, the Ass, and the Fox

The Lion, the Ass, and the Fox

THE LION, THE ASS, AND THE FOX

A Lion, an Ass, and a Fox were hunting in company, and caught a large quantity of game. The Ass was asked to divide the spoil. This he did very fairly, giving each an equal share.

The Fox was well satisfied, but the Lion flew into a great rage over it, and with one stroke of his huge paw, he added the Ass to the pile of slain.

Then he turned to the Fox.

"You divide it," he roared angrily.

The Fox wasted no time in talking. He quickly piled all the game into one great heap. From this he took a very small portion for himself, such undesirable bits as the horns and hoofs of a mountain goat, and the end of an ox tail.

The Lion now recovered his good humor entirely.

"Who taught you to divide so fairly?" he asked pleasantly.

"I learned a lesson from the Ass," replied the Fox, carefully edging away.

Learn from the misfortunes of others.

THE LION, THE ASS, AND THE FOX.THE LION, THE ASS, AND THE FOX.

The Lion, the Ass, and the Fox went a hunting together in the forest; and it was agreed, that whatever was taken should be divided amongst them. They happened to have very good sport, and caught a large fat Stag, which the Lion ordered the Ass to divide. The Ass, according to the best of his capacity, did so, and made three pretty equal shares. But such levelling doings not suiting at all with the craving temper of the greedy Lion, without farther delay he flew upon the Ass, and tore him in pieces; and then bid the Fox divide it into two parts. Reynard, who seldom wanted a prompter, however, had his cue given him sufficiently upon this occasion; and so nibbling off one little bit for himself, he laid forth all the rest for the Lion's portion. The royal brute was so delighted at this dutiful and handsome proof of his respect, that he could not forbear expressing the satisfaction it gave him; and asked him withal, where he could possibly have learned so proper and so courtly a behaviour?—'Why,' replies Reynard, 'to tell your majesty the truth, I was taught it by the Ass that lies dead there.'

APPLICATION.

We may learn a great deal of useful experience from the examples of other people, if we will but take the pains to observe them. And, besides the profit of the instructions, there is no small pleasure in being taught any proper science at the expense of somebody else. To this purpose, the history of former times, as well as the transactions of the present, are very well adapted; and so copious, as to be able to furnish us with precedents upon almost every occasion. The rock upon which another has split is a kind of light-house or beacon to warn us from the like calamity; and by taking such an advantage, how easily may we steer a safe course! He that, in any negociation with his betters, does not well and wisely consider how to behave himself, so as not to give offence, may very likely come off as the Ass did: but a cool thinking man, though he should despair of ever making friends of the people in power, will be cautious and prudent enough to do nothing which may provoke them to be his enemies.