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Short Stories (Stories for the Youth), book by Father Tadros Yacoub Malaty

460- The Sly Fox and the Ram


A wise fox met his friend, the ram, and they walked together in a garden.

The fox noticed that the ram paid no attention when he spoke to him. He also found him solely interested in eating, drinking, and joking. So the fox decided to give the ram a severe lesson.

They both felt thirsty for they had walked for quite a while. So they looked for a stream. They eventually found nothing but a well. Both went in to drink and quench their thirst.

At that point, the ram tried to climb out but was unable to do so. He therefore asked the fox, What shall we do? It looks like we will have to stay imprisoned in this place until the owner of the garden arrives.

The cunning fox smiled and answered, Dont be anxious; theres a very simple solution.

The ram asked, What shall we do?         Image: Little Foxes painting - by Chris Coyle صورة: لوحة الثعالب الصغار، رسم الفنان كريس كويل Image: Little Foxes painting - by Chris Coyle.

صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: لوحة الثعالب الصغار، رسم الفنان كريس كويل.

The fox answered, Stand on your hind feet and lean on your front feet on the wall of the well. Stretch yourself up as high as you can. In this way I will be able to climb on your back, and up on your horns to get out. Then I will pull you out of that hole.

The ram was astonished at this idea, and said to the fox, What a great thinker are you! Such ideas could never have crossed my mind. All that preoccupies me is food, drink, and the good time I can have.

The ram then put up his front feet against the walls of the well and lifted his long horns as high as he could. The fox quietly jumped onto the rams back, and climbed out, leaving his friend behind in the well.

The ram shouted out, You promised to pull me out of this hole. Save me.

The fox looked at him and said sarcastically, What an ignorant ram are you! How can I pull you when I dont have any rope or the strength to pull you out? You are so dumb that you dont think before you act. You should have thought about the way youd get out even before going into the well. Now Ill leave you at the mercy of your stupidity. Maybe you could depend on yourself and find a way out. I believe the well is the best place for you where you can have a good time, and eat and drink as much as you please.

The fox then abandoned the ram in this situation and ran away out of the garden. The ram was left to face his own stupidity.

→ English translation of the story here at الثعلب الماكر والكبش. Divider

Grant me, O Lord, the spirit of wisdom,

So that I may not live to seek pleasure or satiation.

Grant me to study matters deeply before taking any action.


Who would save me from the den of my stupidity?

Save me, O Wisdom of the Lord.

Grant me Yourself so that I can ascend through You and with You into Your heavens.

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