The Wolf and the Cat

Kriloff’s Original Fables
A Wolf unto a village scampered,
Not on a visit, but his skin to save
;
The huntsmen, after him, each movement hampered,
And to the air the pack their yelling gave. How glad he’d be a friendly gate to spy, He’d vanish in the twinkling of an eye
;
Only, as if they mocked
His sore distress, the gates were locked. Then saw our Wolf a Cat close by
Sitting upon a paling,
And, him in hurry hailing,
The Wolf said : ” Tell me, friend, I pray, Which peasant here’s the kindest, that he may
Conceal me from my savage foes. Hear’st thou that hubbub of the dogs and horns ?
‘Tis all for me.”—”Ask Stephen, coz, he knows
A trick, and is a good man,” said the Cat. —” No doubt, but then he mourns A sheep I tore of his.”—” Then, try with Mat.” —” He may be vexed with me, I fear :
I carried off his goat last year.” —”Well then, run there,” there Isaac lives.” —” Isaac ! Not I ! His name a fever gives : Since spring he threatens for a lamb I took.” —” A bad look-out ! Old Will perhaps may hide.’ -” Ah, Tom ! A calf of his I bled at Easter-tide.” —” I see, my friend, there’s not a single nook
Throughout the village, where thou hast, not left A dirty trail
:
Help thou expectest in reward for theft ? No, thou wilt fail
;
Our peasants not so dull are not to see What they would gain by saving thee. Truly thou mayst thyself accuse, and own
That thou but reapest what thyself hast sown.”