With age to leave his den to seek
For food, foreseeing now that he
Must get his meals by strategy,
Lay down, pretending to be sick.
The beasts, not dreaming 'twas a trick,
And thinking one so near his end
No harm could possibly intend,
Flocked to condole, alas! to learn
The truth too late, as each in turn
Was gobbled up. The Fox, less prone
To trust appearances, alone
Saw through the trick and stayed outside.
"Come in, I beg," the Lion cried.
"Thanks," said the Fox, "but I prefer
To stay without. I notice, Sir,
That all the footprints hereabout
Go toward your den, and none come out!"
Source: Herford Aesop 13.
Click here for a SLIDESHOW of all the colored Steinhowel images. You can see the artist has even drawn in some of those tell-tale animal tracks!