An old Lion, whose
teeth and claws were so worn that it was not so easy for him to get food
as in his younger days, pretended that he was sick. He took care to let
all his neighbors know about it, and then lay down in his cave to wait
for visitors. And when they came to offer him their sympathy, he ate
them up one by one.
The Fox came too,
but he was very cautious about it. Standing at a safe distance from the
cave, he inquired politely after the Lion's health. The Lion replied
that he was very ill indeed, and asked the Fox to step in for a moment.
But Master Fox very wisely stayed outside, thanking the Lion very kindly
for the invitation.
"I should be
glad to do as you ask," he added, "but I have noticed that
there are many footprints leading into your cave and none coming out.
Pray tell me, how do your visitors find their way out again?"
warning from the misfortunes of others.