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Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)

Perry 81 (Chambry 38 *)

At an assembly of the dumb beasts, the monkey did a dance. The performance was a great success and the animals elected the monkey to be their king. But the fox was jealous of the monkey, so when she saw some meat lying in a trap, she led the monkey there and told him that she had found a treasure. The fox explained that she had not taken it for herself because of the king's prerogative. Instead, she had guarded this royal prize just for him. She then told the monkey to go ahead and take it. The monkey recklessly put his hand in the trap and was caught. When he accused the fox of luring him into an ambush, the fox replied, 'O you monkey! How can you rule over the dumb beasts when you yourself are such an idiot?'
The story shows that the same is true for people who take up some business without thinking about it first: they meet with disaster and become laughing-stocks as well.

Note: A story about the fox challenging the monkey was already attested in a fragment of the Greek poet Archilochus, circa 650 B.C.E., which is perhaps a version of this same fable (frag. 185-7 West). For a different story about monkeys dancing, see Fable 352.

Source: Aesop's Fables. A new translation by Laura Gibbs. Oxford University Press (World's Classics): Oxford, 2002.
NOTE: New cover, with new ISBN, published in 2008; contents of book unchanged.