Aesop's Fables (Joseph Jacobs)
Jacobs 65. The Fox Without a Tail (Perry
It happened that a Fox caught its tail in a trap, and in struggling to
release himself lost all of it but the stump. At first he was ashamed
to show himself among his fellow foxes. But at last he determined to put
a bolder face upon his misfortune, and summoned all the foxes to a general
meeting to consider a proposal which he had to place before them. When
they had assembled together the Fox proposed that they should all do away
with their tails. He pointed out how inconvenient a tail was when they
were pursued by their enemies, the dogs; how much it was in the way when
they desired to sit down and hold a friendly conversation with one another.
He failed to see any advantage in carrying about such a useless encumbrance.
"That is all very well," said one of the older foxes; "but
I do not think you would have recommended us to dispense with our chief
ornament if you had not happened to lose it yourself."
Distrust interested advice.
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.