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A fox once dwelt in a cave of a certain mountain, and as often as a cub was born to him and grew stout, he would eat it, for, except he did so, he had died of hunger; and this was grievous to him. Now on the top of the same mountain a crow had made his nest, and the fox said to himself, 'I have a mind to strike up a friendship with this crow and make a comrade of him, that he may help me to my day's meat, for he can do what I cannot.' So he made for the crow's stead, and when he came within earshot, he saluted him, saying, 'O my neighbour, verily a true-believer hath two claims upon his true-believing neighbour, that of neighbourliness and that of community of faith; and know, O my friend, that thou art my neighbour and hast a claim upon me, which it behoves me to observe, the more that I have been long thy neighbour. Moreover, God hath set in my breast a store of love to thee, that bids me speak thee fair and solicit thy friendship. What sayst thou?' 'Verily,' answered the crow, 'the best speech is that which is soothest, and most like thou speakest with thy tongue that which is not in thy heart. I fear lest thy friendship be but of the tongue, outward, and shine enmity of the heart, inward; for that thou art the Eater and I the Eaten, and to hold aloof one from the other were more apt to us than friendship and fellowship. What, then, maketh thee seek that thou mayst not come at and desire what may not be, seeing that thou art of the beast and I of the bird kind? Verily, this brotherhood [thou profferest] may not be, neither were it seemly.' He who knoweth the abiding-place of excellent things,' rejoined the fox, 'betters choice in what he chooses therefrom, so haply he may win to advantage his brethren; and indeed I should love to be near thee and I have chosen thy companionship, to the end that we may help one another to our several desires; and success shall surely wait upon our loves. I have store of tales of the goodliness of friendship, which, an it like thee, I will relate to thee.' 'Thou hast my leave,' answered the crow; 'let me hear thy story and weigh it and judge of thine intent thereby.' 'Hear then, O my friend,' rejoined the fox, 'that which is told of a mouse and a flea and which bears out what I have said to thee.' 'How so?' asked the crow. 'It is said,' answered the fox, 'that...
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Payne, John (1842-1916). The Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night. London. 1901. Gutenberg Vol. I. Gutenberg Vol. II. Gutenberg Vol. III. Gutenberg Vol. IV. Please consult the Gutenberg edition for footnotes; the footnotes have not been included in this web version. Wollamshram Vol. V. Wollamshram Vol. VI. Wollamshram Vol. VII. Wollamshram Vol. VIII. Wollamshram Vol. IX. Please consult the Wollamshram 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