Gateway to the Classics: Indian Fables by Ramaswami Raju
Indian Fables by  Ramaswami Raju

The Fox and the Crabs

One day a fox seated himself on a stone by a stream and wept aloud. The crabs in the holes around came up to him and said, "Friend, why are you wailing so loud?"

"Alas!" said the fox, "I have been turned by my kindred out of the wood, and do not know what to do."

"Why were you turned out?" said the crabs, in a tone of pity.

"Because," said the fox, sobbing, "they said they should go out to-night hunting crabs by the stream, and I said it would be a pity to kill such pretty little creatures."

"Where will you go hereafter?" said the crabs.

"Where I can get work," said the fox; "for I would not go to my kindred again, come what would."

Then the crabs held a meeting, and came to the conclusion that, as the fox had been thrown out by his kindred on their account, they could do nothing better than engage his services to defend them. So they told the fox of their intention. He readily consented, and spent the whole day in amusing the crabs with all kinds of tricks.


The Fox and the Crabs

Night came.The moon rose in full splendour. The fox said, "Have you ever been out for a walk in the moonlight?"

"Never, friend," said the crabs; "we are such little creatures that we are afraid of going far from our holes."

"Oh, never mind!" said the fox; "follow me! I can defend you against any foe."

So the crabs followed him with pleasure. On the way the fox told them all sorts of pleasant things, and cheered them on most heartily. Having thus gone some distance, they reached a plain, where the fox came to a stand, and made a low moan in the direction of an adjacent wood. Instantly a number of foxes came out of the wood and joined their kinsman, and all of them at once set about hunting the poor crabs, who fled in all directions for their lives, but were soon caught and devoured.

When the banquet was over, the foxes said to their friend, "How great thy skill and cunning!"

The heartless villain replied, with a wink, "My friends, there is cunning in cunning."

 Table of Contents  |  Index  |  Home  | Previous: The Sun and the Glow-worm  |  Next: The Assembly of Animals
Copyright (c) 2005 - 2023   Yesterday's Classics, LLC. All Rights Reserved.