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The Fox Without a Tail

Fables

Aesop

A Fox being caught in a steel trap by his tail, was glad to compound for his escape with the loss of it; but on coming abroad into the world, began to be so sensible of the disgrace such a defect would bring upon him, that he almost wished he had died rather than left it behind him. However, to make the best of a bad matter, he formed a project in his head to call an assembly of the rest of the Foxes, and propose it for their imitation as a fashion which would be very agreeable and becoming. He did so, and made a long harangue upon the unprofitableness of tails in general, and endeavoured chiefly to show the awkwardness and inconvenience of a Fox's tail in particular; adding that it would be both more graceful and more expeditious to be altogether without them, and that, for his part, what he had only imagined and conjectured before, he now found by experience; for that he never enjoyed himself so well, nor found himself so easy as he had done since he cut off his tail. He said no more, but looked about with a brisk air to see what proselytes he had gained; when a sly old Fox in the company, who understood trap, answered him, with a leer, "I believe you may have found a conveniency in parting with your tail; and when we are in the same circumstances, perhaps we may do so too."

MORAL.

It is common for men to wish others reduced to their own level, and we ought to guard against such advice as may proceed from this principle.

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