THE FARMER AND THE FOX
By Ramaswami Raju
A FARMER was returning from a fair which he had attended the
day at a neighboring market town. He had a quantity of poultry
he had purchased. A Fox observed this, and approaching the Farmer,
said, "Good morning, my friend."
"What cheer, old fellow?" said the Farmer.
"I am just coming from the wood, through which you mean
to go with your
poultry. A band of highwaymen has been tarrying there since daybreak."
"Then what shall I do?" said the Farmer.
"Why," said the Fox, "if I were you I should stay
here a while, and
after breakfast enter the wood, for by that time the robbers will
left the place."
"So be it," said the Farmer, and had a hearty breakfast,
for his guest.
They kept drinking for a long time. Reynard appeared to have
wits; he stood up and played the drunkard to perfection. The Farmer,
who highly admired the pranks of his guest, roared with laughter,
gradually fell into a deep slumber. It was some time after noon
he awoke. To his dismay he found that the Fox was gone, and that
poultry had all disappeared!
"Alas!" said the Farmer, as he trudged on his way home
with a heavy
heart, "I thought the old rogue was quite drowned in liquor,
but I now
see it was all a pretense. One must indeed be very sober to play
drunkard to perfection."