Abstemius's Fables (Sir Roger L'Estrange)
263. (Abstemius 9) A Fox and a Knot of Gossips.
A Fox was taking a Walk one Night cross a Village, spy'd a Bevy of Jolly, Gossiping Wenches, making merry over a Dish of Pullets. Why ay, says he; Is not this a brave World now? A poor innocent Fox cannot so much as peep into a Hen-Roost, though but to keep Life and Soul together, and what a bawling do you make on't presently with your Dogs, and your Bastards! And yet You your selves can lie stuffing your Guts with your Hens and your Capons, and not a Word of the Pudding. How now Bold-Face, cries an old Trot, Sirrah, we eat our Own Hens, I'd have you to know; and what you eat, you steal.
There are Men of Prey, as well as Beasts of Prey, that account Rapine as good a Title as Propriety.
Fables of Aesop and Other Eminent Mythologists: Abstemius's Fables by Sir Roger L'Estrange. Available online at Google Books.