An unqualified Monkey became king. A Fox tricked the Monkey into a trap. Monkey asked the Fox how he could do such a thing. Fox said he should have known.
A ruler needs many talents.
A Monkey once danced before the assembled Beasts. He so pleased them, they elected him their King. A Fox, envious of the honor, discovered a trap with meat in it. She led the Monkey to the trap saying it was a treasure trove. The Monkey went carelessly into the trap and was caught. The Monkey accused the Fox of purposely leading him into the trap, but the Fox only chided the Monkey for pretending to be King with no qualifications.
Aesop For Children
At a great meeting of the Animals, who had gathered to elect a new ruler, the Monkey was asked to dance. This he did so well, with a thousand funny capers and grimaces, that the Animals were carried entirely off their feet with enthusiasm, and then and there, elected him their king.
The Fox did not vote for the Monkey and was much disgusted with the Animals for electing so unworthy a ruler.
One day he found a trap with a bit of meat in it. Hurrying to King Monkey, he told him he had found a rich treasure, which he had not touched because it belonged by right to his majesty the Monkey.
The greedy Monkey followed the Fox to the trap. As soon as he saw the meat he grasped eagerly for it, only to find himself held fast in the trap. The Fox stood off and laughed.
“You pretend to be our king,” he said, “and cannot even take care of yourself!”
Shortly after that, another election among the Animals was held.
The true leader proves himself by his qualities.
A Monkey once danced in an assembly of the Beasts, and so pleased them all by his performance that they elected him their King. A Fox, envying him the honor, discovered a piece of meat lying in a trap, and leading the Monkey to the place where it was, said that she had found a store, but had not used it; she had kept it for him as treasure trove of his kingdom, and counseled him to lay hold of it. The Monkey approached carelessly and was caught in the trap; and on his accusing the Fox of purposely leading him into the snare, she replied, “O Monkey, and are you, with such a mind as yours, going to be King over the Beasts?”
Thomas Bewick (The Ape Chosen King)
On the death of the old Lion, without his leaving an heir, the beasts assembled to choose another king of the forest in his stead. The crown was tried on many a head, but did not sit easy upon any one. At length the Ape putting it upon his own, declared that it fitted him quite well, and after shewing them many antic tricks, he with a great deal of grimace, and an affected air of wisdom, offered himself to fill the high office. The silly creatures being pleased with him at the moment, instantly, by a great majority, proclaimed him king. The Fox, quite vexed to see his fellow-subjects act so foolishly, resolved to convince them of their sorry choice, and knowing of a trap ready baited at no great distance, he addressed himself to King Ape, and told him that he had discovered a treasure, which being found on the waste, belonged to his Majesty. The Ape presently went to take possession of the prize; but no sooner had he laid his paws upon the bait, than he was caught fast in the trap. In this situation, between shame and anger, he chattered out many bitter reproaches against the Fox, calling him rebel and traitor, and threatening revenge: to all which Reynard gravely replied, that this was nothing but a beginning of what he would meet with in the high station his vanity had prompted him to aspire to, as it was only one of the many traps that would be laid for him, and in which he would be caught; but he hoped, this one might be a treasure to him, if it operated as a caution, and served to put him in mind of the false estimate he had put upon his abilities, in supposing, that with his inexperienced empty pate, he could manage the weighty affairs of state. He then, with a laugh, left him to be relieved from his peril by one or other of his foolish loving subjects.
When Apes are in power, Foxes will never be wanting to play upon them. Men shew their folly, rashness, and want of consideration, when they elect rulers without the qualifications of integrity and abilities to recommend them to the office; and the higher it is, the more important it is to the interests of the community that it should be properly filled. The Fable also shews the weakness of those who, through self-conceit, aspire to any high station without the requisites to befit them for it, and the want of which exposes authority to scorn.
Gherardo Image from 1480
Simius Rex et Vulpes
In quadam brutorum animalia corona, simius saltabat. Qua quidem in re cum se mirifice atque egregie tulisset, rex ab illis extemplo renuntiatur. Ei vero vulpes invidens, cum laqueo suppositas carnes alicubi vidisset, eum illuc adduxit et has inquit a se repertas; iuxta leges non sibi sumpsisse, sed muneri ei debitas servasse, ac simul ut capiat hortatur. Tum simius, inconsulto accedens, ut laqueo irretitum se sentit, vulpem ut dolosam insidiosamque incusat. Ei vero vulpes “Tune,” inquit, “O simie, fortuna talem ad dignitatem evectus, brutis animantibus dominaris?”
Fabula ostendit eos quoque, qui res inconsiderate aggrediuntur, praeter calamitates, deridiculos etiam esse.