Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Fox and the Goat

When I was young, my grandmother would often read to me. Her favorite stories were those that taught a lesson in life and, as I grew older, many of these stories helped to guide me through mine. As I tend to be impulsive by nature, this is the story that I've needed to heed most:

One day, by unlucky chance, a fox fell into a deep well and could find no means of escape.

A Goat, overcome with thirst, came to the same well and upon seeing the Fox, inquired if the water was good. Concealing his sad plight under a merry guise, the Fox indulged in a lavish praise of the water, saying it was excellent beyond measure, and encouraged the Goat to descend.

The Goat, mindful only of his thirst, thoughtlessly jumped down, but just as he drank, the Fox informed him of the predicament they were both in and suggested a plan for them both to escape.

"If," said the Fox, "you will place your forefeet upon the wall and bend your head, I will run up your back and jump to safety and will help you out afterwards."

The Goat readily assented and the Fox leaped upon his back. Steadying himself with the Goat's horns, he safely reached the mouth of the well and ran off as fast as he could.

When the Goat cried out after him, chastising him for breaking his promise, he turned around and said, "You foolish old fellow! If you had as many brains in your head as you have hairs in your beard, you would never have gone down before you had inspected the way up, nor would you have exposed yourself to dangers from which you had no means of escape."

The lesson to be learned fro the Goat's plight: Look before you leap.

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