THE FOX AND THE PARTRIDGE
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.