Aesop's Fables: Sir Roger L'Estrange (1692)
83. A FOX AND A GOAT (Perry 9)
A Fox and a Goat went down by consent into a Well to drink, and when
they had quench’d their Thirst, the Goat fell to hunting up and down which
way to get back again. Oh! Says Reynard, Never trouble your Head how to
get back, but leave that to me. Do but you raise your self upon your hinder-Legs
with your fore-Feet close to the Wall, and then stretch out your Head;
I can easily whip up to your Horns, and so out of the Well, and draw you
after me. The Goat puts himself in a Posture immediately, as he was directed,
gives the Fox a lift, and so out he springs: But Reynard’s Business was
now only to make sport with his Companion, instead of helping him. Some
hard Words the Goat gave him, but the Fox puts off all with a Jest. If
you had but half so much Brain as Beard, says he, you would have bethought
your self how to get up again before you went down.
THE MORAL. A wise Man will debate every thing pro and con before he
comes to fix upon any Resolution. He leaves nothing to Chance more than
needs must. There must be no Bantering out of Season.
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.