Aesop's Fables: Sir Roger L'Estrange (1692)
103. A FOX THAT LOST HIS TAIL (Perry
There was a Fox taken in a Trap, that was glad to compound for his Neck,
by leaving his Tail behind him. It was so uncouth a sight for a Fox to
appear without a Tail, that the very Thought on’t made him e’en weary
of his Life; for 'twas a Loss never to be repair’d: But however for the
better Countenance of the Scandal, he got the Master and Wardens of the
Foxes Company to call a Court of Assistants, where he himself appeared,
and made a learned Discourse upon the Trouble, the Uselessness, and the
Indecency of Foxes wearing Tails. He had no sooner said out his Say, but
up rises a cunning Snap, then at the Board, who desir’d to be inform’d,
whether the worthy Member that now mov’d against the wearing of Tails,
gave his Advice for the Advantage of those that had Tails, or to palliate
the Deformity or Disgrace of those that had none.
THE MORAL. When a Man has any notable Defect or Infirmity about him,
whether by Nature, or by Chance, ‘tis the best of his Play to try the
Humour, if he can turn it into a Fashion.
L'Estrange originally published his version of the fables in 1692. There is a
very nice illustrated edition in the Children's Classics series by Knopf: Sir
Roger L'Estrange. Aesop
- Fables which is available at amazon.com.