Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
148. THE FOX AND THE PARTRIDGE
Perry 562 (Ademar
A partridge had seated herself high on a perch when a fox came up to
her and said, 'How beautiful you are to look at: your legs are so red!
your mouth is like coral! Ah, if only you were sleeping, you would be
even more lovely...' The partridge believed the fox and closed her eyes,
and the fox immediately grabbed her. In a voice choked with sobs, the
partridge said to the fox, 'I beg you, in the name of all your artful
wiles, please say my name before you eat me up.' As the fox's mouth opened
to pronounce the word 'partridge,' the partridge flew out and escaped.
The fox said sadly, 'Woe is me, what need was there for me to speak?'
The partridge likewise said, 'Woe is me, what reason was there for me
to close my eyes, when I wasn't even sleepy?'
For people who speak when there is no reason to do so and who go to
sleep when they should be on their guard.
Note: For a similar fable about a fox and a rooster, see Fable
Aesop's Fables. A new translation by Laura
Oxford University Press (World's Classics): Oxford, 2002.
cover, with new ISBN, published in 2008; contents of book unchanged.