|29. The Fox And The Goat|
A Fox having fallen into a deep well, wa
s detained a prisoner there, as he could find no means of escape. A Goat, overcome with thirst, came to the same well, and seeing the Fox, enquired if the water was good. The Fox, concealing his sad plight under a merr
y guise, indulged in a lavish praise of the water, saying it was beyond measure excellent, and encouraged him to descend. The Goat, mindful only of his thirst, thought lessly jumped down, when just as he quenched his thirst, the Fox inf
ormed him of the difficulty they were both in, and suggested a scheme for their common escape. "If," said he, "you will place your fore-feet upon the wall, and bend your head, I will run up your back and escape, and will help you out af
terwards." On the Goat readily assenting to this second proposal, the Fox leapt upon his back, and steadying himself with the Goat's horns, reached in safety the mouth of the well, when he immediately made off as fast as he could. The Goat upbraided him with the breach of his bargain, when he turned round and cried out: "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 have exposed yourself to dangers from which you had no means of escape."
Look before you leap.
一只狐狸跌落在一口深井里，好似囚犯坐牢，没有逃出去的方法。 恰巧有一只山羊，口渴得不得了，于是到井边来喝水。它看见狐狸，就问它井里水的味道如何。 狐狸用欢愉的态度来掩饰它的窘状，极力称赞井里的水，说是异常甘醇，并且鼓励它下来。 山羊只顾口渴，便不加思索地跳下去。等它喝够了之后，狐狸就把它们所处的困境告诉了它，又提出一个共同逃走的计划。 它说：「你将前脚放在墙上，俯下头来，我就爬到你的背上逃出去，然后我再帮助你出去。」 山羊于是赞成这个建议。狐狸跳到它的背上，靠了山羊的两脚，站稳自己的身体，然后跳到井上飞奔逃走。 山羊骂它毁约，狐狸便回身喊道：「笨动物！ 要是你脑子灵敏一些，你一定不会不先看清出路，便跳下去的，也不致于使自己陷入无计可施的危险中了。」