It happened one day that a certain lean and perpetually hungry fox was trotting through the forest, looking for opportunities, when he saw a rooster perched on the branch of a tree. The sight gave the fox a spasm of longing for a meal of warm bird flesh, and licking his lips he thought, ‘How can I persuade the rooster to come down to the ground?”
Stopping beneath the tree, he looked up at the rooster, and said, “Good morning, brother!”
The rooster looked down at the fox, and said, “How strange! Has a fox ever called a rooster ‘brother’ before? What can be the meaning of this?”
“The meaning is this,” said the fox. “Peace has been declared amongst all the animals, and we are now brothers and sisters.”
“Peace?” said the rooster. “Since the beginning of time your kind has sought to eat my kind. How can a fox talk to a rooster of peace?”
“Nevertheless,” said the fox, “it is true. It has been declared that all creatures shall live together in harmony from this day forward. Is it not good news? If you don’t believe me, come down and go with me to the lion. He will confirm what I say.”
The rooster walked along the branch a step or two, bent forward, and slightly spread its wings, as if preparing to fly down. At the sight, the fox quivered with anticipation, but his excitement did not escape the rooster. “Hmm,” thought the rooster to himself, “perhaps I should first put this good news to a test.”
Straightening himself, the rooster put his head on one side, as if listening, and said, “Wait, what is that? Do you hear something?”
“Hear what,” said the fox.
“Some creatures are coming, I think,” said the rooster.
“Are you sure?” said the fox suspiciously.
“Yes, perhaps I hear better up here. There are four or five, coming quickly this way. And–yes, now I see them! It is a pack of wild dogs.”
And at that, the fox disappeared in the undergrowth – taking with him all thoughts of peace among the animals.