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

The Sea, the Fox, and the Wolf

A fox that lived by the sea-shore once met a wolf that had never seen the sea. The wolf said, "What is the sea?"

"It is a great piece of water by my dwelling," said the fox.

"Is it under your control?" said the wolf.

"Certainly," said the fox.

"Will you show me the sea, then?" said the wolf.

"With pleasure," said the fox. So the fox led the wolf to the sea, and said to the waves, "Now go back,"—they went back! "Now come up,"—and they came up! Then the fox said to the waves, "My friend, the wolf has come to see you, so you will come up and go back till I bid you stop;" and the wolf saw, with wonder, the waves coming up and going back.

He said to the fox, "May I go into the sea?"

"As far as you like. Don't be afraid, for, at a word, the sea would go or come as I bid, and as you have already seen."

The wolf believed the fox, and followed the waves rather far from the shore. A great wave soon upset him, and threw up his carcass on the shore. The fox made a hearty breakfast on it, saying, "The fool's ear was made for the knave's tongue."

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