THE FOX AND THE MULE

Here it is told of the fox and the mule...

The fox going through a wood, happened upon a mule, and it had never seen a mule before.The fox was greatly afraid, and fled and fleeing happened upon a wolf. The fox said she had discovered a very strange beast, and did not know its name. The wolf said: let us go and see it. And they came to it. To the wolf it appeared very strange. The fox asked it its name. The mule replied: to tell the truth I cannot remember very well, but if you can read, you will find it written on my back right hoof. The fox replied: never mind, I cannot read, much as I should like to. The wolf then took up: leave it to me, for I can read very well indeed. The mule then showed his right hoof, the cleaving whereof seemed like letters. The wolf said: I cannot see them very well. The mule answered: come a little closer, for the letters are very small. The wolf came nearer and looked closely. The mule then gave him a kick which killed him.The fox went off saying: not everyone who can read is wise.

* From Il Novellino The Hundred Old Tales translated from the Italian by Edward Storer

“I’m asking you: do you think I’m mulish or foxy?”
- Henry, Pirandello's Henry IV