One day an ass and a fox made an agreement with a lion that they would assist each other while hunting for food. They felt that with their combined efforts they would not have to starve.
Of course, both the ass and the fox were a little nervous about joining the lion in the hunt. However, the thought of the food they would acquire with his help, made them salivate.
It was an excellent hunt. The three scrutinized the jungle in their search for food. When they came to a clearing by the lakeside, they dispersed.
They decided that the ass would keep an eye out for animals to prey on; if he spotted one, he would go up to the animal and introduce himself. The introduction would alert the other two who were hiding.
The fox would come out at first, growling. The frightened animal would try to run, the fox would chase it, and in trying to avoid him, the poor animal would run directly in the lion’s path. The lion would then finish the animal off in one swoop.
In the evening, the tired but happy trio assembled in front of the lion’s den with their large proceeds. The lion ordered the ass to allot to each of the three partners their due portion in the treaty.
The ass was very happy. He felt that by asking him, the lion had bestowed a great honour on him. Very carefully, he divided it into three equal shares. ”Sirs, I have done the needful. I modestly request the two of you to take your shares,” he said.
The lion stared at the shares for a minute. “So you think each one of us deserves an equal share. You think that your feeble attempts to chat with the animal compares to my efforts to kill them,” he said and jumped on the ass. He killed the ass in one second.
Then he told the terrified fox to make the division. The fox accumulated all that they had killed into one large heap and left the smallest possible share to himself. The rest he gave to the lion.
“Who taught you, my dear fellow, the art of division?” said the lion, pleased as punch.
”I learned it from the ass sir, by witnessing his fate,” replied the fox. From that day, he vowed never to take a lion as a partner in any venture.