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Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)

Perry 605 (Odo 39)

Against lawyers and the like.
The fox ran into the cat and asked, 'How many tricks and dodges do you know?' The cat replied, 'Actually, I don't know more than one.' The fox then asked the cat, 'What trick is that?' The cat said, 'When the dogs are chasing me, I know how to climb trees and escape.' The cat then asked the fox, 'And how many tricks do you know?' The fox said, 'I know seventeen, and that gives me a full bag of tricks! Come with me, and I'll show you my tricks so that the dogs won't be able to catch you.' The cat agreed and the two of them went off together. The hunters began to chase them with their dogs, and the cat said, 'I hear the dogs; I'm scared.' The fox replied, 'Don't be afraid! I will give you a good lesson in how to get away.' The dogs and the hunters drew nearer. 'Well,' said the cat, 'I'm going to have to leave you now; I want to do my trick.' And so the cat jumped up in the tree. The dogs let the cat go and chased the fox until they caught him: one of the dogs grabbed the fox by the leg, another grabbed his belly, another his back, another his head. The cat who was sitting up high in the tree shouted, 'Fox! Fox! Open up your bag of tricks! Even so, I'm afraid all of them put together are not going to save you from the hands and teeth of those demons!'

Note: Compare the Greek proverb in Archilochus, circa 650 B.C.E.: 'The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one great thing' (frag. 201 West).

Source: Aesop's Fables. A new translation by Laura Gibbs. Oxford University Press (World's Classics): Oxford, 2002.
NOTE: New cover, with new ISBN, published in 2008; contents of book unchanged.