Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Fox, the Wolf and Three True Things

The Fox, the Wolf and Three True Things. A wretched little fox fell into the clutches of a wolf and begged him to take her alive and not to put her to death, being just an old and harmless creature. The wolf said, "If you will tell me three things that are true, by God, I will spare your life." The fox replied, "I Iwsh I had never run into you in the first place! Next, I wish that you would have been blind when we met! And now for the third thing: I hope that you die soon and that I never have to run into you again!"

Vulpes, Lupus et Tria Vera. In Lupum Vulpes quae inciderat misella, vivam caperet precabatur neque vetulam interimeret. Qui "Si mihi tres" ait "easque veras dixeris sententias, per Panem vitae parcam tuae." Vulpes contra "Utinam primum non fuisse obviam factus mihi! Deinde, utinam occurrisses caecus! Et super his habe" inquit "tertiam: utinam non ad seniorem pervenias aetatem nec mihi denuo obviam occurras!"

Notes. This is Babrius 53 , which is Perry 159 in Perry's classification scheme. This kind of fable shows how insults were a feature of the fable genre. Given the ways of wolves, it's not likely that the wolf let the fox go after this, but at least the fox got to say how she really felt about that wolf! In a medieval fable, we see the wolf do something similar, when he pays a ferryman by telling him three true things - the last of which is that it is a big mistake to ever do a favor for someone as wicked as a wolf.

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