Painting of an eagle in a burning nest.

The Eagle & the Fox (Aesop’s Fables)

The Eagle and the Fox is a dark fable by Aesop (5th century BCE). There have been many versions since then. This is one of them, in my own words.

Slashes made by an enraged barbarian fabulist.

Once upon a time, in a forest broad and deep, an eagle and a fox lived as friends. The eagle had built her nest high in a tall tree, while the fox had dug her den under the roots.

One day, the fox went out to hunt, leaving her young cubs under the watchful eye of the eagle. Seeing her friend absent and an easy meal available, the eagle swooped down and snatched the cubs, taking them up to feed to her fledglings.

Returning from her unsuccessful hunt, the fox saw the desolation of her home and heard the anguished cries of her cubs above. She implored the eagle, “Return my young ones to me! It is unjust to prey upon your neighbor’s family!” But the eagle, her eyes gleaming from the high branches, was deaf to the fox’s pleas.

Burning with anger, the fox devised a plan. She went to where the men were sacrificing a goat in the fire. She slipped through the dancing shadows and the dancing men, and she dashed off with a burning branch between her teeth.

She set the branch down at the base of the tree, and soon it began to burn. The eagle could do nothing but watch as the fire consumed her home and her children. As the nest burned, the roast chicks tumbled down. The fox caught them in her mouth one by one, savouring her victory.

It is a dark tale, I know, and there are more. The next fable is about a Wolf and a Lamb.

Juan Artola Miranda

I am Juan Artola Miranda, a fabulist living in the Mexican Caribbean. My friends know me by the name of my father's father, but that name grew into something bigger, my writing reaching tens of millions of readers. It was too strong for me to control. Artola Miranda is the name of my mother's mother. It's a better name for a fabulist.

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