The Fox and the Countryman

089. THE FOX AND THE COUNTRYMAN. A fox, being hard hunted, and having run a long chase, was quite tired; at last he spied a country fellow in a wood, to whom he applied for refuge, entreating that he would give him leave to hide himself in his cottage till the hounds were gone by. The man consented, and the fox went and covered himself up close in a corner of the hovel.
Presently the hunters came up, and inquired of the man if he had seen the fox. “No,” says he, “I have not seen him indeed,” but all the while he pointed with his finger to the place where the fox was hid. However, the hunters did not understand him, but called off their hounds, and went another way.
Soon after, the fox, creeping out of his hole, was going to sneak off; when the man, calling after him, asked him if that was his manners to go away without thanking his benefactor, to whose fidelity he owed his life?
Reynard, who had peeped all the while, and seen what passed, answered, “I know what obligations I have to you well enough; and I assure you, if your actions had been but agreeable to your words, I should have endeavoured, however incapable of it, to have returned you suitable thanks.” [more info]

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