An old lion had so worn teeth and claws that it was no longer easy for him to get food. With nothing else to do, he pretended to be sick. Then, he took it upon himself to warn all the neighboring animals about his poor state of health and lay down in his cave to wait for their visits. When the animals presented themselves to offer him their sympathy, he devoured them in one bite.

The fox also came to visit him, but she was very cunning. Standing a safe distance from the cave, he politely asked the lion how he was doing. The lion replied that he was very ill and asked him to come inside for a moment. But the fox stayed outside, thanking the lion for the kind invitation:

“I would love to be able to do what you ask,” said the fox, “but I see that there are many tracks of those who enter your cave and none of those who leave.” Please tell me, how do your visitors find the exit?

The lion did not say anything, but the cunning fox did not stay to wait for the answer and thus avoided being devoured.