Æsop. (Sixth century B.C.) Fables. The Harvard Classics. 190914.
The Fox Without a Tail
IT happened that a Fox caught its tail in a trap, and in struggling to release himself lost all of it but the stump. At first he was ashamed to show himself among his fellow foxes. But at last he determined to put a bolder face upon his misfortune, and summoned all the foxes to a general meeting to consider a proposal which he had to place before them. When they had assembled together the Fox proposed that they should all do away with their tails. He pointed out how inconvenient a tail was when they were pursued by their enemies, the dogs; how much it was in the way when they desired to sit down and hold a friendly conversation with one another. He failed to see any advantage in carrying about such a useless encumbrance. That is all very well, said one of the older foxes; but I do not think you would have recommended us to dispense with our chief ornament if you had not happened to lose it yourself.