The Fox And The Horse

: Grimms' Fairy Tales

A farmer had a horse that had been an excellent faithful servant to

him: but he was now grown too old to work; so the farmer would give him

nothing more to eat, and said, 'I want you no longer, so take yourself

off out of my stable; I shall not take you back again until you are

stronger than a lion.' Then he opened the door and turned him adrift.

The poor horse was very melancholy, and wandered up and down in the

wood, seeking some little shelter from the cold wind and rain. Presently

a fox met him: 'What's the matter, my friend?' said he, 'why do you hang

down your head and look so lonely and woe-begone?' 'Ah!' replied the

horse, 'justice and avarice never dwell in one house; my master has

forgotten all that I have done for him so many years, and because I

can no longer work he has turned me adrift, and says unless I become

stronger than a lion he will not take me back again; what chance can I

have of that? he knows I have none, or he would not talk so.'

However, the fox bid him be of good cheer, and said, 'I will help you;

lie down there, stretch yourself out quite stiff, and pretend to be

dead.' The horse did as he was told, and the fox went straight to the

lion who lived in a cave close by, and said to him, 'A little way off

lies a dead horse; come with me and you may make an excellent meal of

his carcase.' The lion was greatly pleased, and set off immediately; and

when they came to the horse, the fox said, 'You will not be able to eat

him comfortably here; I'll tell you what--I will tie you fast to

his tail, and then you can draw him to your den, and eat him at your


This advice pleased the lion, so he laid himself down quietly for the

fox to make him fast to the horse. But the fox managed to tie his legs

together and bound all so hard and fast that with all his strength he

could not set himself free. When the work was done, the fox clapped the

horse on the shoulder, and said, 'Jip! Dobbin! Jip!' Then up he sprang,

and moved off, dragging the lion behind him. The beast began to roar

and bellow, till all the birds of the wood flew away for fright; but the

horse let him sing on, and made his way quietly over the fields to his

master's house.

'Here he is, master,' said he, 'I have got the better of him': and when

the farmer saw his old servant, his heart relented, and he said. 'Thou

shalt stay in thy stable and be well taken care of.' And so the poor old

horse had plenty to eat, and lived--till he died.