Demult, un taran avea un cal batran si credincios. Era atat de batran calul, incat nu mai suporta sa duca nicio povara. Intr-o zi, stapanul ii spune:
- Nu-ti mai dau de mancare pentru ca nu te mai pot folosi! Totusi nu-ti vreau raul. Dar daca vei fi indraznet asa incat imi vei aduce un leu, vei putea ramane la mine. Acum, pleaca din grajdul meu!
Gonit de taran, calul era foarte trist si a pornit spre o padure sa-si caute adapost impotriva vremii.
O vulpe l-a vazut cand a intrat in padure si l-a intrebat ce cauta pe acolo singur.
-Of, sunt tare amarat! Stapanul meu a uitat cat de credincios i-am fost! Si pentru ca nu mai pot cara, nu mai vrea sa-mi dea de mancare si m-a gonit din casa lui!
- Asa, fara nici o speranta? a mai intrebat vulpea.
- Speranta....! Ceva ar mai fi! Sa indraznesc sa-i aduc acasa un leu..! Dar el stie ca nu o pot face...
Vulpea a spus atunci:
- Uite ce e: as vrea sa te ajut. Asa ca, intinde-te aici si nu te misca,asa, ca si cand ai fi mort!
Calul a ascultat sfatul vulpii, iar vulpea a mers la barlogul leului, nu departe si i-a spus:
- Afara zace un cal mort. Vei avea un pranz bun! Du-te acolo!
Leul a mers cu vulpea si cum au ajuns aceasta i-a spus:
- Stii, m-am gandit ca aici nu este locul potrivit sa mananci calul. Eu voi lega coada calului de tine, iar tu il vei putea tarai ca sa-l sfasii in liniste...
Leului i-a placut sfatul vulpii, a stat drept pana cand vulpea i-a legat coada de cea a calului.
Vulpea sireata nevoie mare, o data cu coada calului a legat si picioarele leului si le-a strans asa de tare, incat acesta nu se mai puteau desface in nici un fel.
Dupa ce a terminat lucrul, a batut calul pe coama si i-a spus:
- Trage, calule, trage bine!Atunci, calul s-a saltat deodata si l-a tras pe leu dupa el.
Leul a inceput sa urle inspaimantator.
Toate pasarile din padure zburataceau speriate.
Dar calului nu-i pasa, alerga si taraia leul spre gospodaria stapanului sau.
Cand stapanul sau a vazut-o si pe asta, si-a schimbat purtarea si i-a spus calului:
-Poti ramane cu mine pana la sfarsitul zilelor tale. Iti va fi bine de acum inainte,prietene credincios!
Si asa a si fost.
A peasant had a faithful horse which had grown old and could do no more work, so his master would no longer give him anything to eat and said, "I can certainly make no more use of thee, but still I mean well by thee; if thou provest thyself still strong enough to bring me a lion here, I will maintain thee, but now take thyself away out of my stable," and with that he chased him into the open country. The horse was sad, and went to the forest to seek a little protection there from the weather. Then the fox met him and said, "Why dost thou hang thy head so, and go about all alone?" - "Alas," replied the horse, "avarice and fidelity do not dwell together in one house. My master has forgotten what services I have performed for him for so many years, and because I can no longer plough well, he will give me no more food, and has driven me out." - "Without giving thee a chance?" asked the fox. "The chance was a bad one. He said, if I were still strong enough to bring him a lion, he would keep me, but he well knows that I cannot do that." The fox said, "I will help thee, just lay thyself down, stretch thyself out, as if thou wert dead, and do not stir." The horse did as the fox desired, and the fox went to the lion, who had his den not far off, and said, "A dead horse is lying outside there, just come with me, thou canst have a rich meal." The lion went with him, and when they were both standing by the horse the fox said, "After all, it is not very comfortable for thee here I tell thee what I will fasten it to thee by the tail, and then thou canst drag it into thy cave, and devour it in peace."
This advice pleased the lion: he lay down, and in order that the fox might tie the horse fast to him, he kept quite quiet. But the fox tied the lion's legs together with the horse's tail, and twisted and fastened all so well and so strongly that no strength could break it. When he had finished his work, he tapped the horse on the shoulder and said, "Pull, white horse, pull." Then up sprang the horse at once, and drew the lion away with him. The lion began to roar so that all the birds in the forest flew out in terror, but the horse let him roar, and drew him and dragged him over the country to his master's door. When the master saw the lion, he was of a better mind, and said to the horse, "Thou shalt stay with me and fare well," and he gave him plenty to eat until he died.