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Aesop: In His 3rd Millenium
VII. The Fox and His Tale

About Retribution...

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A Guide to this Site | Did Aesop Exist? | I. The Lion and The Mouse | II. The Scorpion and The Ladybug | III. The Dog in the Manger | IV. The Ants and The Grasshopper | V. The Frog and the Chrysalis | VI. Hercules and The Carter | VII. The Fox and His Tale | VIII. The Elephant, The Katydid, and The Bear | IX. The Spider, the Cockerel, the Sheep, and the Ram | X. The Farmer and the Snake | XI. The Lion, The Fox, and the Ass | XII. The Dog, the Cat, and the Bear | XIII. The Ship and the Whale | XIV. The Duckling and the Mallard

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"Poor winners always lose..."

Small-minded and cruel retaliations boomeranging upon us a thousand fold.

It was a lean year, and a Fox who was devoted to his family ranged far and wide seeking food for his Vixen and their Kits.

He came upon a prosperous farm where rich crops were close to harvest, and the henhouses were filled with many chickens. The Fox thought to himself that in the face of such plentitude, one chicken would not be missed and would feed his family for several days. He seized a chicken and brought it home.

A few weeks later, after hunting in vain, he reluctantly returned to the farmyard although he knew it would be dangerous after his previous visit. He was right. The Farmer set a trap and the Fox was caught in it.

But the Farmer was vindictive. He was not content just to kill the Fox mercifully. Instead, he tied a rope to the Fox's tail, doused it with oil, and set the rope aflame!

Ah, but here is where the tale... the tail?... gets interesting! The fox fled in panic, not seeing where he was going, knowing he would soon die a horrible death. He dashed headlong to the river... the shortest way! Through the Farmer's fields.

Sparks from the fleeing fox's tail ignited the crop. The great wheat harvest burned to the ground. Barns and outbuildings were set ablaze.

The vengeful Farmer wailed at his loss.

The Fox plunged into the river, dousing the flames beginning to engulf the bushy fur on his tail, but he returned to his family, alive.

P.S. Although the Fox had a bare tale, he and his family feasted on quite a lot of roast chicken.