The Dog, the Cock, and the Fox

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The Dog, the Cock, and the Fox
by Aesop

L'Estrange's translation (1692)[edit]


A Dog and a Cock took a Journey together. The Dog kennell’d in the Body of a hollow Tree, and the Cock roosted at Night upon the Boughs. The Cock crow’d about Midnight (at his usual Hour) which brought a Fox that was abroad upon the Hunt, immediately to the Tree; and there he stood licking of his Lips at the Cock, and wheedling him to get him down. He protested he never heard so angelical a Voice since he was born; and what would he not do now, to hug the Creature that had given him so admirable a Serenade! Pray! Says the Cock, speak to the Porter below to open the Door, and I’ll come down to ye: The Fox did as he was directed, and the Dog presently seiz’d and worry’d him.

THE MORAL. The main Business of the World is nothing but sharping, and putting Tricks upon one another by Turns.

Townsend's translation (1887)[edit]

The Dog, the Cock, and the Fox

A Dog and a Cock being great friends, agreed to travel together. At nightfall they took shelter in a thick wood. The Cock flying up, perched himself on the branches of a tree, while the Dog found a bed beneath in the hollow trunk. When the morning dawned, the Cock, as usual, crowed very loudly several times. A Fox heard the sound, and wishing to make a breakfast on him, came and stood under the branches, saying how earnestly he desired to make the acquaintance of the owner of so magnificent a voice. The Cock, suspecting his civilities, said: "Sir, I wish you would do me the favor of going around to the hollow trunk below me, and waking my porter, so that he may open the door and let you in." When the Fox approached the tree, the Dog sprang out and caught him, and tore him to pieces.

Jacobs' translation (1894)[edit]

The Fox, the Cock, and the Dog

One moonlight night a Fox was prowling about a farmer's hen-coop, and saw a Cock roosting high up beyond his reach. "Good news, good news!" he cried.

"Why, what is that?" said the Cock.

"King Lion has declared a universal truce. No beast may hurt a bird henceforth, but all shall dwell together in brotherly friendship."

"Why, that is good news," said the Cock; "and there I see some one coming, with whom we can share the good tidings." And so saying he craned his neck forward and looked afar off.

"What is it you see?" said the Fox.

"It is only my master's Dog that is coming towards us. What, going so soon?" he continued, as the Fox began to turn away as soon as he had heard the news. "Will you not stop and congratulate the Dog on the reign of universal peace?"

"I would gladly do so," said the Fox, "but I fear he may not have heard of King Lion's decree."

Cunning often outwits itself.