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List of stories within One Thousand and One Nights
TALE OF THE WOLF AND THE FOX. [FN#150]
Know, O King, that a fox and a wolf once cohabited in the same den, harbouring therein together by day and resorting thither by night; but the wolf was cruel and oppressive to the fox. They abode thus awhile, till it so befel that the fox exhorted the wolf to use gentle dealing and leave off his ill deeds, saying, "If thou persist in thine arrogance, belike Allah will give the son of Adam power over thee, for he is past master in guile and wile; and by his artifice he bringeth down the birds from the firmament and he haleth the mighty fish forth of the flood-waters: and he cutteth the mountain and transporteth it from place to place. All this is of his craft and wiliness: wherefore do thou betake thyself to equity and fair dealing and leave frowardness and tyranny; and thou shalt fare all the better for it." But the wolf would not accept his counsel and answered him roughly, saying, "What right hast thou to speak of matters of weight and importance?" And he dealt the fox a cuff that laid him senseless; but, when he revived, he smiled in the wolf's face and, excusing himself for his unseemly speech, repeated these two couplets,
"If any sin I sinned, or did I aught * In love of you, which hateful mischief wrought;
My sin I sore repent and pardon sue; * So give the sinner gift of pardon sought."
The wolf accepted his excuse and held his hand from further ill-treatment, saying, "Speak not of whatso concerneth thee not, lest thou hear what will please thee not." Answered the fox, "To hear is to obey!"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.