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The Fox And The Horse

A farmer had a horse that had been an excellent faithful servant tohim: but he was now grown too old to work; so the far...

The Fox And The Horse

A farmer had a horse that had been an excellent faithful servant tohim: but he was now grown too old to work; so the farmer would give himnothing more to eat, and said, «I want you no longer, so take yourselfoff out of my stable; I shall not take you back again until you arestronger than a lion.» Then he opened the door and turned him adrift.

The poor horse was very melancholy, and wandered up and down in thewood, seeking some little shelter from the cold wind and rain.Presently a fox met him: «What’s the matter, my friend?» said he,«why do you hang down your head and look so lonely and woe-begone?’«Ah!» replied the horse, «justice and avarice never dwell in onehouse; my master has forgotten all that I have done for him so manyyears, and because I can no longer work he has turned me adrift, andsays unless I become stronger than a lion he will not take me backagain; what chance can I have of that? he knows I have none, or hewould not talk so.»

However, the fox bid him be of good cheer, and said, «I will help you;lie down there, stretch yourself out quite stiff, and pretend to bedead.» The horse did as he was told, and the fox went straight to thelion who lived in a cave close by, and said to him, «A little way offlies a dead horse; come with me and you may make an excellent meal ofhis carcase.» The lion was greatly pleased, and set off immediately;and when they came to the horse, the fox said, «You will not be ableto eat him comfortably here; I’ll tell you what—I will tie you fast tohis tail, and then you can draw him to your den, and eat him at yourleisure.»

This advice pleased the lion, so he laid himself down quietly for thefox to make him fast to the horse. But the fox managed to tie hislegs together and bound all so hard and fast that with all hisstrength he could not set himself free. When the work was done, thefox clapped the horse on the shoulder, and said, «Jip! Dobbin! Jip!’Then up he sprang, and moved off, dragging the lion behind him. Thebeast began to roar and bellow, till all the birds of the wood flewaway for fright; but the horse let him sing on, and made his way quietlyover the fields to his master’s house.

«Here he is, master,» said he, «I have got the better of him’: andwhen the farmer saw his old servant, his heart relented, and he said.«Thou shalt stay in thy stable and be well taken care of.» And so thepoor old horse had plenty to eat, and lived—till he died.

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