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Aesop's Fables: Sir Roger L'Estrange (1692)

104. A FOX AND HUNTSMEN (Perry 22)

A Fox that had been hard run, begg’d of a Countryman that he saw at work in a Wood, to help him to some Hiding-Place. The Man directed him to his Cottage, and thither he went. He was no sooner got in, but the Huntsmen were presently at the Heels of him, and asked the Cottager if he did not see a Fox that way? No truly, says he, I saw none: but pointed at the same time with his Finger to the place where he lay. The Huntsmen did not take the Hint, it seems, but the Fox spy’d him, however, through a Peeping-Hole he had found out to see what News: So the Fox-Hunters went their way , and then out-steals the Fox without one Word speaking. Why how now, says the Man, han’t ye the Manners to take leave of your Host before you go? Yes, yes, says the Fox, if you had been as honest of your Fingers, as you were of your Tongue, I should not have gone without bidding ye farewel.
THE MORAL. A Man may tell a lye by Signs, as well as in Words at length, and his Conscience is as answerable for his Fingers as for his Tongue.

L'Estrange originally published his version of the fables in 1692. There is a very nice illustrated edition in the Children's Classics series by Knopf: Sir Roger L'Estrange. Aesop - Fables which is available at amazon.com.