A billy goat staring down into a well. Painted by Juan Artola Miranda.

The Fox & the Billy Goat (Aesop’s Fables)

The Fox and the Billy Goat is one of Aesop’s fables. This version was written by Juan Artola Miranda, shortly before his great disgrace.

Slashes made by an enraged barbarian fabulist.

Once upon a time, in a lush green forest, a cunning fox found itself trapped in a deep well. As it looked for a way to escape, a thirsty billy goat happened to wander by and, peering into the well, saw the fox.

“Good day, friend fox,” called the billy goat. “How is the water down there? I am quite thirsty and wonder if I should join you.”

The sly fox replied, “Ah, dear billy goat! The water is the most refreshing I’ve ever tasted, and there’s plenty to drink! Come on down and quench your thirst.”

Enticed by the fox’s words, the billy goat jumped into the well. Once it had drunk its fill, it realized it, too, was now trapped, with no way to climb back out.

“Friend fox,” said the billy goat, “how do we get out of this well?”

The cunning fox replied, “Fear not, my friend, for I have a plan. If you stand against the wall and raise your head, I can climb upon your strong back and horns, and then leap out of the well. Once I am out, I promise to help you escape as well.”

The trusting billy goat agreed and positioned itself against the wall. The fox wasted no time, clambered onto the billy goat’s back, and with a swift leap, escaped the well. Now free, the fox left.

This brings us to one of my favourite fables, one about an envious neighbour.

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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