Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
306. THE FOX AND THE BRAMBLE
Perry 19 (Chambry
A fox climbing up over a fence was about to slip and fall, so
she reached out and grabbed hold of a bramble bush but the brambles scratched
the soft padding of the fox's paws. Stung by the sharp pain, the fox asked
the bramble bush why she had acted so cruelly, when the fox had simply
grabbed onto her for help. The bramble replied, 'My dear, you must be
out of your mind to grab hold of someone like me, since I am the one who
always grabs everyone else!'
The same is true about people: it is foolish to expect help from someone
who is naturally unkind.
Note: In Caxton (6.5), the bramble bush
makes a further criticism of the fox's behaviour: 'For thow supposest
to haue taken me as thow arte custommed to take chekyns and hennes.'
For an explanation of why the bramble bush grabs every passer-by, see
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.