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

39. A WOLF AND A FOX (Perry 568)

A Wolf that had a mind to take his ease, stor’d himself privately with Provisions, and so kept close a-while. Why, how now Friend, says a Fox to him, we han’t seen you abroad at the Chase this many a Day! Why truly, says the Wolf, I have gotten an Indisposition that keeps me much at home, and I hope I shall have your Prayers for my Recovery. The Fox had a fetch in’t, and when he saw it would not fadge; away goes he presently to a Shepherd, and tells him where he might surprize a Wolf, if he had a mind to’t. The Shepherd follow’d his Directions, and destroy’d him. The Fox immediately, as his next Heir, repairs to his Cell, and takes Possession of his Stores; but he had little Joy of the Purchase, for in a very short time, the same Shepherd did as much for the Fox, as he had done before for the Wolf.
THE MORAL. ‘Tis with Sharpers as ‘tis with Pikes, they prey upon their own kind; and ‘tis a pleasant Scene enough, when Thieves fall out among themselves, to see the cutting of one Diamond with another.

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.