Tired of Fox's tricks, Lion decided to lure Fox into his den by pretending to be sick. He sent Fox this message: "Come quickly! I'm dying."
Fox immediately went to see Lion, armed with a long wooden staff.
"Dear Fox," said Lion, "I'm burning with fever."
"I'm sorry to hear that," Fox replied.
"Come in," Lion urged him. "Touch my forehead; feel my fever."
Fox reached out his staff and touched Lion without coming in. "Truly!" Fox exclaimed. "The fever burns me through the staff."
Then Fox laughed and ran.
Lion sprang, but he was too late; Fox had escaped.
[a Tigray story from northern Ethiopia]
Inspired by: "The Tale of the Lion and the Fox" in Tales, Customs, Names, and Dirges of the Tigre Tribes by Enno Littmann, 1915.
Notes: You can read the original story online. I am not sure if the animal referred to here is the "Ethiopian wolf" also known as the "Simien fox" and "horse jackal" or if it is one of the foxes of Ethiopia which include the Ruppell's sand fox and the bat-eared fox.
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