Gateway to the Classics: Fairy Stories and Fables by James Baldwin
Fairy Stories and Fables by  James Baldwin

The Fox Who Lost His Tail

A fox saw a trap lying in his path, and stopped to look at it.

"How very silly any beast must be," said he, "to allow himself to be caught in such a thing as that!"

Then, to show that he did not care for it, he whisked his tail into it. But the trap was too quick for him, and his tail, of which he was so proud, was snapped off in a moment. He was so much ashamed of himself that he ran into the woods, and did not show himself to his friends for a long time.

At last he thought that if the other Foxes would only lose their tails, too, he might then be in the fashion, and look as nice as any of them. So he called them together and made a speech to them, standing all the time with his back against a tree.


"Good friends," he said, "did you never think how very useless our tails are? They are always in the way when we run through the bushes, and, I am sure, we should be a great deal better off without them. I, for one, am in favor of cutting them off. Let us all get rid of those useless burdens!"

"Turn round! turn round!" cried the other Foxes. "You have already lost your tail, or you would never give us such advice as that. All you want is to help your own case, and not ours."

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