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Burton: The Fox and the Folk

[Go back to The Stolen Purse]

A fox once made his way into a city by the wall and, entering a currier's store-house, played havoc with all therein and spoiled the skins for the owner. One day, the currier set a trap for him and taking him, beat him with the hides, till he fell down senseless, whereupon the man deeming him to be dead, cast him out into the road by the city-gate. Presently, an old woman who was walking by, seeing the fox said, "This is a fox whose eye, hung about a child's neck, is salutary against weeping." So she pluckt out his right eye and went away. Then passed a boy, who said, "What does this tail on this fox?"; and cut off his brush. After a while, up came a man and saying, "This is a fox whose gall cleareth away film and dimness from the eyes, if they be anointed therewith like kohl," took out his knife to slit up the fox's paunch. But Reynard said in himself, "We bore with the plucking out of the eye and the cutting off of the tail; but, as for the slitting of the paunch, there is no putting up with that!" So saying, he sprang up and made off through the gate of the city, hardly believing in his escape. Quoth the King, "I excuse her, and in my son's hands be her doom. If he will, let him torture her, and if he will, let him kill her." Quoth the Prince, "Pardon is better than vengeance and mercy is of the quality of the noble;" and the King repeated, "'Tis for thee to decide, O my son." So the Prince set her free, saying, "Depart from our neighbourhood and Alla pardon what is past!" Therewith the King rose from his throne of estate and seating his son thereon, crowned him with his crown and bade the Grandees of his realm swear fealty and commanded them do homage to him. And he said, "O folk, indeed, I am stricken in years and desire to withdraw apart and devote myself only to the service of my Lord; and I call you to witness that I divest myself of the kingly dignity, even as I have divested myself of my crown and set it on my son's head." So the troops and officers swore fealty to the Prince, and his father gave himself up to the worship of his Lord nor stinted from this, whilst his son abode in his kingship, doing justice and righteousness; and his power was magnified and his sultanate strengthened and he abode in all delight and solace of life, till there came to him the Certainty.

[Go to Judar and His Brethren]


Burton, Richard (1821-1890). The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night. London. 1885-1888. Gutenberg Vol. I. Gutenberg Vol. II. Gutenberg Vol. III. Gutenberg Vol. IV. Gutenberg Vol. V. Gutenberg Vol. V. Gutenberg Vol. VII. Gutenberg Vol. VIII. Gutenberg Vol. IX. Gutenberg Vol. X. Please consult the Gutenberg edition for footnotes; the footnotes have not been included in this web version.


1001 Nights Hypertext. Laura Gibbs, Ph.D. This website is licensed under a Creative Commons License. The texts presented here are in the public domain. Thanks to Gene Perry for his excellent help in preparing the texts for the web. Page last updated: January 1, 2005 10:46 PM


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