Aesop's Fables (Joseph Jacobs)
Jacobs 50. The Two Fellows and the Bear (Perry
Two Fellows were travelling together through a wood, when a Bear rushed
out upon them. One of the travellers happened to be in front, and he seized
hold of the branch of a tree, and hid himself among the leaves. The other,
seeing no help for it, threw himself flat down upon the ground, with his
face in the dust. The Bear, coming up to him, put his muzzle close to
his ear, and sniffed and sniffed. But at last with a growl he shook his
head and slouched off, for bears will not touch dead meat. Then the fellow
in the tree came down to his comrade, and, laughing, said "What was
it that Master Bruin whispered to you?"
"He told me," said the other,
"Never trust a friend who deserts you at a pinch."
Fables of Aesop, by Joseph Jacobs with illustrations by
Richard Heighway (1894). The page images come from Google
Books. The digitized text comes from Project
Gutenberg. You can purchase this inexpensive Dover edition, The
Fables of Aesop by Joseph Jacobs from amazon.com.