The Fox and the Hedgehog

by Aesop

A swarm of fresh hungry ones will come and not leave a drop of blood in my body.

A FOX, while crossing a river, was driven by the stream into a narrow gorge, and lay there for a long time unable to get out, covered with myriads of horse-flies that had fastened themselves upon him. A Hedgehog, who was wandering in that direction, saw him, and taking compassion on him, asked him if he should drive away the flies that were so tormenting him. But the fox begged him to do nothing of the sort. Why not? asked the Hedgehog. Because, replied the Fox, these flies that are upon me now are already full, and draw but little blood, but should you remove them, a swarm of fresh hungry ones will come, who will not leave a drop of blood in my body.

When we throw off rulers or dependants, who have already made the most of us, we do but, for the most part, lay ourselves open to others. who will make us bleed, yet more freely.


Aesop's Fables
Copyright 1881
Translator: unknown
WM. L. Allison, New York
Illustrator: Harrison Weir, John Tenniel, Ernest Griset,