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

The Fox and the Dove

A king in the East had, on a lawn in his park, a great number of deer, all remarkable for their graceful appearance. A fox that had long had an eye on one of the fawns, said to the animals in the wood, "I have to go on a mission of importance to the king's park; but if I go in my own form, they will kill me. May I have the guise of any one of you that I may find it necessary to borrow?"

"Certainly," said the animals.

So the fox tried various forms, but failed in all. He sat brooding over his bad luck.

The wolf said, "Did not my form serve your purpose?"

"If I had gone in my own," said the fox, "I should have fared better."

Thus, after a great many animals had questioned him, and received some reply or other, the dove came up and said, "Surely with my guise it must have been otherwise?"

"Alas!" said the fox, "when I put on your guise, all thoughts of murder fled from my mind!"

The animals with one voice exclaimed, "There is such virtue in goodness!"

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