Beavers have been hunted for their tail being medicine. When chased, a Beaver escaped capture by biting his tail off.
Sometimes a small sacrifice results in a greater good.
The tail of the Beaver was once thought to be of use in medicine, and the animal was often hunted on that account. A shrewd old fellow of the race, being hard pressed by the Dogs, and knowing well why they were after him, had the resolution and the presence of mind to bite off his tail, and leave it behind him, and thus escaped with his life.
The bever is a kind of an amphibious creature, but he lives mostly in the water. His stones, they say, are med’cinal; and it is principally for their sake he knows, that people seek his life; and therefore when he finds himself hard pinch’d, he bites ’em off, and by leaving them to his pursuers, he saves himself.
When a greater interest is at stake, ’tis a warrantable point of honour and discretion, to compound the hazzard, by parting with the less; provided, that while we quit the one, we may save the other.
Castor et Venator
Castor est animal in paludibus sese nutriens, cuius testiculi variis medelis utiles esse dicuntur. Itaque cum quispiam eum sequitur, venationis causam non ignorans, fugit ad speluncam ubi, ab hominum conspectu canumque odoratu securus, testes dentibus exscindit et venatoribus appropinquantibus relinquit, et hoc pacto se securum praestat.
Sapiens, ut a periculis se eripiat, nihil intentatum relinquit.