Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Image: Vulpes Mortem Simulans et Canisimage

M0051 - M0052 - M0053
52. Vulpes Mortem Simulans et Canis. Vulpes, simulans se defunctam ut aves ad se tanquam ad cadaver accedentes interciperet, luto oblita, in quodam agro resupina iacebat, exspectans cornices, corvos et huiusmodi rapaces volucres, quas devoraret, cum superveniens canis eam mordicus captam coepit dentibus lacerare. Quod illa animadvertens, “Digna,” inquit, “patior, nam dum fraudibus aves capere studeo, ab alio capta sum.”

Image Source: Medieval illustration of fox playing dead. The fox was famous for supposedly playing dead in order to lure birds, but this strategy had its dangers, too, as you can see in the fable.

M0052 (not in Perry). Source: Abstemius 146. This fable is not in Perry’s catalog; Perry omitted most of Abstemius’s fables. The leopard also knows how to play dead, and with greater success; see #140.