The Dog and the Wolf

019. THE DOG AND THE WOLF. A lean, hungry, half-starved wolf, happened one moon-shiny night to meet with a jolly, plump, well-fed mastiff; and after the first compliments were passed, says the wolf, “You look extremely well; I protest I think I never saw a more graceful comely person: but how comes it about, I beseech you, that you should live so much better than I? I may say, without vanity, that I venture fifty times more than you do, and yet I am almost ready to perish with hunger.”
The dog answered very bluntly, “Why you may live as well: if you will do the same for it that I do.”
“Indeed! What is that?” says he.
“Why,” says the dog, “only to guard the house a-nights, and keep it from thieves.”
“With all my heart,” replies the wolf, “for at present I have but a sorry time of it; and I think to change my hard lodging in the woods, where I endure rain, frost, and snow, for a warm roof over my head, and a belly-full of good victuals, will be no bad bargain.”
“True,” says the dog, “therefore you have nothing more to do but to follow me.”
Now as they were jogging on together, the wolf spied a crease in the dog's neck, and, having a strange curiosity, could not forbear asking him what it meant. “Pugh! Nothing,” says the dog.
“Nay, but pray,” says the wolf.
“Why,” says the dog, “if you must know, I am tied up in the daytime, because I am a little fierce, for fear I should bite people, and am only let loose a-nights. But this is done with a design to make me sleep a-days more than anything else, and that I may watch the better in the night-time; for as soon as ever the twilight appears, out I am turned, and may go where I please. Then my master brings me plates of bones from the table with his own hands; and whatever scraps are left by any of the family, all fall to my share, for you must know I am a favourite with everybody. So you see how you are to live. Come, come along; what is the matter with you?”
“No,” replied the wolf, “I beg your pardon; keep your happiness all to yourself. Liberty is the word with me; and I would not be a king upon the terms you mention.” [more info]

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