A Wolf, who was almost skin and bone – so well did the dogs of the neighborhood keep guard – met, one moonshiny night, a sleek Mastiff, who was as strong as he was fat. Bidding the dog goodnight very humbly, he praised his good looks. "It would be easy for you," replied the Mastiff, "to get as fat as I am if you liked." "What shall I have to do?" asked the Wolf. "Almost nothing," answered the dog. They trotted off together, but as they went along, the Wolf noticed a bare spot on the dog's neck. "What is that mark?" asked he. "Oh, the merest trifle," answered the dog; "the collar which I wear when I am tied up is the cause of it." "Tied up!" exclaimed the Wolf, with a sudden stop. "Can you not always then run where you please?" "Well, not quite always," said the Mastiff; "but what can that matter?" "It matters much to me," rejoined the Wolf, and, leaping away, he ran once more to his native forest.
Moral: Better starve free than be a fat slave.
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