Abstemius's Fables (Sir Roger L'Estrange)
300. (Abstemius 49) A Hunts-man and a Currier.
A Currier bought a Bear-Skin of a Hunts-man, and laid him down ready Money for't. The Hunts-man told him that he would kill a Bear next day and he should have the Skin. The Currier, for his Curiosity, went out with the Hunts-man to the Chace; and mounted a tree, where he might see the Sport. The Hunts-man advanc'd very bravely up to the Den where the Bear lay, and threw in his Dogs upon him. He Rustled out immediately, and the Man missing his Aim, the Bear overturn'd him. So the Fellow held his Breath, and lay Stone still, as if he were dead. The Bear snuffled, and smelt to him; and took him for a Carcass, and so left him. When the Bear was gone, and the Danger over, down comes the Currier from the Tree, and bad the Hunts-Man Rise. Heark ye, my Friend, says the Currier, the Bear whisper'd somewhat in your Ear. What was it, I prithee? Oh (says the Hunts-Man) he bad me have a care for the future, so make sure of the Bear, before I sell his Skin.
Let no Man undertake for more than he is able to make good.
Fables of Aesop and Other Eminent Mythologists: Abstemius's Fables by Sir Roger L'Estrange. Available online at Google Books.