An Aesop fable as told by FabulousFables.com
Art by Juliet Welsh
One day, two boys on a shortcut home from school encountered a brown bear.
One boy immediately ran and climbed a tree. He abandoned his friend who was left standing on the ground to face the bear alone.
As the bear approached, the boy on the trail remembered his dad once said that a bear will not eat you if you play dead. So the boy fell to the ground. He mimicked an actor he had once seen shot dead in a movie.
He lay still as death. Neither a muscle nor hair moved. Not even a breath escaped him.
The brown bear stood over the boy and sniffed him from foot to head.
The bear stuck his snout close to the fallen boy’s ear.
To the friend in the tree, it appeared as if the bear whispered something.
Then the bear walked away.
After the bear was gone, the boy climbed down from the tree.
“Oh my God!” he exclaimed. “I can’t believe that bear sniffed you the way it did and didn’t tear you to pieces.”
“Yeah,” was all the stunned boy answered. He still could smell the bear’s foul breath. Sticky bear saliva dripped from his head.
“You know, I ran and climbed that tree hoping the bear would follow me so you could escape and get help,” the cowardly boy lied as he tried to make himself appear the hero. “Oh, by the way, it looked like that bear whispered in your ear. What did he say?”
“He gave me advice,” his companion replied. “He told me not to hang out with someone who abandons me at the first sign of danger.”
Moral: Misfortune tests the sincerity of friends.
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