The Tiger Behind the Fox

It was dusk in the country park and all the wild animals were eating and drinking before nightfall. The barking deer were drinking water. The wild hogs were nosing for roots. The monkeys were jumping from branch to branch, snatching fruit.

29. The Tiger Behind the FoxBelow, on the ground, a tiger caught a fox. "Help!!" cried the fox. But all the other animals were too busy feeding.

The tiger secured the fox in its jaws and loped down the path to its lair. "How dare you think of eating me?" said the fox. "I am the king of the country park.”

The curious tiger lowered the fox to the ground, "You?" it said. "I thought I was."

"I'll prove it," said the fox, "if you let me walk with you.”

So they walked along the path together, the fox leading the way.

They met a barking deer. It raised its head, barked its distinctive bark, and ran back to the trees.

"You see?" said the fox.

They rounded a corner and bumped into a family of wild hogs. “Grunt, grunt. Hello!” said the wild hogs. Until they noticed who was coming. Then they quickly turned tail and bolted.

The clever fox led the tiger to his den. He had burrowed it at the base of a boulder.

Planted around the den were plantain palms, where monkeys filled their stomachs with fresh bananas.

Usually the monkeys ignored the fox. But this time, they hooted wildly and jumped away from tree to tree.

"You see?" said the fox.

The tiger was so impressed, it let the fox go.

And before the tiger could change its mind, the fox had bolted back into his den.

This is a retelling of a famous Chinese fable called 狐假虎 from the book威戰國策.

Illustrated by Bianca Lesaca

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