A fox and a wolf once lived in the same den, but the wolf was very cruel. They lived like this for some time that one day the fox said to the wolf – “If you continue to behave like this, you will suffer the consequences. But the wolf did not listen to his counsel and said roughly – “What right do you have to speak like this to me? Don’t speak to me like this any more lest you have to hear something unpleasant from me.” The fox said – “OK, I will not say anything to you which is unpleasant to you.” But in his heart he had intended to destroy Wolf.
One day the fox said to the wolf – “The Lord pardons the mistakes of His servants. If you could know what pain I have suffered because of you. Even an elephant could not have stood against it, but I am not complaining of anything. The sages have said – “The blow of the teacher at first hurts, but later it sooths.” The wolf said – “I pardon you, but you should always be aware of my power.” At this the fox prostrated before him and went away.
Now it so happened one day, that the fox went to a vineyard and saw a hole near its walls, but he mistrusted it – “There must be some cause for this hole. Who is it that sees a hole in the earth and not shut it, because by this he will expose himself to danger. Although it is well-known that people make the figure of fox in their vineyards so that foxes come there and fall into their net, but still I should regard this hole properly, because it is said that “Caution is one half of cleverness.” Now let me examine this hole.” So he went up to the hole, walked around it carefully. It was a deep pit which the owner had dug to catch wild beasts which had destroyed his vineyard. He got very happy to be escaped. The pit was covered with dust and matting. He wished that his enemy wolf fell into it.
He returned to the wolf and said to him – “Allaah has made a plain path for you to enter the vineyard, so that you may enjoy the vineyard.” The wolf asked – “What is the proof that you are speaking truth?” The fox replied – “I myself went up to the vineyard and found that the owner was dead, the wolves have torn him, so I went in the orchard and saw the shining fruits upon the trees. The wolf didn’t doubt the fox’s report and he proceeded towards the vineyard, while the fox followed him.
Now when the wolf had reached the pit, the fox behind him said – “Enter the vineyard. You need not to use any ladder now because the wall is already broken.” So the wolf walked over the pit thinking to enter the vineyard, but as it came in the middle of the pit, he fell through it. At this the fox danced with joy and started singing. After a while the fox looked into the pit and found the wolf weeping. The fox also wept with him.
The wolf asked – “Is it because of the pity on me that you are weeping?” The fox replied – “No, By Allaah, I weep to regret that why didn’t you fall in this pit long before?” The wolf said – “O evil-doer, Go to my mother and tell her that I have fallen in this pit. She will find some way for me to come out from here.” The fox said – “In fact you are brought to this condition because of your greed. Now you can never escape from here. Don’t you know this proverb, “Who does not think about the end, fate is not his friend, nor is he safe from dangers.”
The wolf spoke – “You are not thinking about my friendliness, only Allaah will give me its reward.” The fox said – “O stupid, have you forgotten your arrogant behavior and disregarding my advice?” The wolf said – “Don’t tease me for my past sins, for forgiveness is expected from the generous people.” And he behaved humbly before the fox. He wept and complained and requested him not to be so cruel. He said – “Rise and get me a rope, tie its one end with a tree, and let the other end down to me, so that I can hold it and come out of this pit. After I have come out, I will give all the wealth I possess.”
The fox said – “You are talking to me uselessly because this talking is not going to make you free from here. You can never come out from here. Just remember your past bad deeds done against me and how near are you being stoned to death.” The wolf said – “Think, that who saves a soul from ruining, he has saved the whole mankind, so do your best to free me.” The fox said – “I compare your intention with the Falcon and the Partridge.” The wolf asked – “How so?” And the fox began to tell …
The fox said – “I once entered a vineyard to eat its grapes, that I saw a falcon over a partridge seizing him. But the partridge escaped from his grip. The falcon followed him and called out to him – “I saw you hungry and took pity on you, so I picked some grains for you and took hold of you, so that you can eat, but you fled from me. I don’t know the reason of you fleeing away. Come out, and take these grains I have brought them only for you to eat. They will improve your health.” When the partridge heard this he believed him and came out. At this, the falcon struck his feathers into him and seized him. The partridge said – “You lied to me. May Allaah make my meat poison to you.” So when the falcon ate the partridge, his feathers fell, he got weak and died at the spot.”
The fox continued – “So O wolf, who digs a pit for his brother, soon falls into it. You deceived me first.” The wolf said – “Don’t tell me all these stories, do not remind me my ill actions, pity me like a true friend. A real friend is better than a real brother. If you save me today, I will teach you rare tricks – how to open vineyards and pluck the fruits from the trees, etc.” The fox said – “These talks look strange from an ignorant like you.” “What the wise men say?”
The fox said “The wise men say that the gross of body is gross of mind, far from intelligence and thus ignorance. How can I be your true friend considering your ill behavior? I count you as my enemy who is rejoicing in his troubles. You say that you will teach me tricks, first use your tricks to get out from the hole. You are like a sick man who is saying to another sick man, “Shall I treat you?” The other sick man said ‘Why don’t you treat first yourself?” At this the first one went away. So stay where you are.”
The wolf understood that he can’t get help from the fox, so he started weeping, and said to himself – “If I will be out of here, I will surely repent for my ill actions towards those who are weaker than me. I will go to mountains and pray for God. I will not live with wild beasts and I will feed the poor.”
Hearing this the fox got pity on him, filled with joy, he stood on his hind legs and let his tail hang in the pit. The wolf arose, pulled the fox’s tail so that the fox also fell in the pit. Then said the wolf – “Why were you enjoying in my misery? Now you have come with me, the death in company is the best of things. I will kill you now first before you kill me.” The fox said – “Do not kill me, you will not be benefited by that and we both will die here.” The wolf asked – “What is your plan now to get out of here?”
The fox said – “When I heard your promises, I took pity on you and gave my tail to grasp and come up, but you did not leave your habit. Now only one thing can save us, if you accept it.” “What is that?” Fox said – “You stand at your full height, till I come near the level of the earth. Then I will spring and reach the ground, and when I am out of the pit, I will bring you out what you may lay hold of.” The wolf said – “I have no faith in you.” The fox asked – “Then do you have any other device, or plan, to come out of this pit? If not, then do not distrust me. “Faith is fair and faithlessness is foul.” – that is why you should trust me.” The wolf said – “OK, I accept your proposal, but if you deceive me, you will get destroyed.”
Then the wolf stood upright, took the fox on his shoulders, raised him to the ground level, and the fox took a leap from his shoulders and came out of the pit. The wolf cried – “Do not forget me.” The fox said – “I have done my job to save you by letting down my tail but you pulled me down. Now what?” Hearing this the wolf bit his forehand and said to the fox – “If you will take me out, I will reward you fairly.” The fox said – “By this promise of reward, I recollect a story of a snake who was running. Seeing him running, a man asked him- “Why are you running so fast?” The snake said – “I am running from a snake charmer who wants to trap me. If you save me, I will reward you fairly.” The man took the snake and kept it in his breast pocket. When the serpent had passed, the serpent had no fear, so the man said – “Where is my reward you promised me?” She said – “Tell me in which part or limb I should bite you?” and so saying she bit him and he instantly died.”
Then the fox climbed a hill and gave a loud cry to wake the caretakers of the vineyard. They woke up and came quickly to find a wolf in the pit. The fox had already run away seeing them coming. They hit him with stones and sticks, till they killed him. Then they went away. The fox returned, wagged his tail in joy and lived there alone till his death.
LESSON: What comes around comes back around. So treat people as you want to be treated!
Author: Sishu Sansaar