Abstemius's Fables (Sir Roger L'Estrange)
315. (not in Abstemius) A Fox and a Sick Cock.
A Cock took his Bed upon a Fit of Sickness, and a Fox of his old Acquaintance, gave him the Complement of a Visit, and ask'd him how he felt himself. Alas, says the Cock, I'm e'en ready to smother for want of Breath; and if you'd be pleas'd but to stand off, and give me a little fresh Air, I fancy I should be somewhat more at Ease.
The Charity of our Death-Bed Visits from one another, is much
at a Rate, (generally speaking) with that of a Carrion-Crow to
a Sheep; we smell a Carcass.
Fables of Aesop and Other Eminent Mythologists: Abstemius's Fables by Sir Roger L'Estrange. Available online at Google Books.