The Wild Boar and The Fox

A Wild Boar was sharpening his tusks. A Fox asked why. The Boar said that it would be foolish to not be ready and have to sharpen them when needed.

Be prepared.

Aesop For ChildrenAesop For Children

Boar and Fox

Milo Winter (1919)

A Wild Boar was sharpening his tusks busily against the stump of a tree, when a Fox happened by. Now the Fox was always looking for a chance to make fun of his neighbors. So he made a great show of looking anxiously about, as if in fear of some hidden enemy. But the Boar kept right on with his work.

“Why are you doing that?” asked the Fox at last with a grin. “There isn’t any danger that I can see.”

“True enough,” replied the Boar, “but when danger does come there will not be time for such work as this. My weapons will have to be ready for use then, or I shall suffer for it.”


Preparedness for war is the best guarantee of peace.

Samuel CroxallSamuel Croxall (The Fox and the Boar)

Croxall - The Fox and BoarTHE Boar stood whetting his tusks against an old tree. The Fox, who happened to come by at the same time, asked him why he made those martial preparations of whetting his teeth, since there was no enemy near, that he could perceive. That may be, Master Reynard, says the Boar; but we should scour up our arms while we have leisure, you know; for, in time of danger, we shall have something else to do.


He that is not idle when he is at leisure, may play with his business. A discreet man should have, a reserve of every thing that is necessary before-hand; that, when the time comes for him to make use of them, he may not be in a hurry and a confusion. A wise general has not his men to discipline, or his ammunition to provide, when the trumpet sounds, To Arms; but sets apart his times of exercise for one, and his magazines for the other, in the calm season of peace. We hope to live to a good old age; should we not then lay up a store of conveniences against that time, when we shall be most in want of them, and least able to procure them? We must die; nay, never start; we must. Are there not some necessary things for us to transact before we depart; at least, some trifle or other for us to bequeath, which a sudden stroke may prevent us from doing? Sure there is. And if so, how inexcusable shall we be, if we defer the execution of it, till the alarm come upon us. I did not think of it, is an expression unworthy a wise man’s mouth, and was only intended for the use of fools.

JBR CollectionJBR Collection

Fox and Boar

Ernest Griset (1874)

A Boar stood whetting his tusks against an old tree. A Fox happened to pass by, and asked him what he meant by such warlike preparation, there being, as far as he knew, no enemy in sight. “That may be,” answered the Boar; “but when the enemy is in sight it is time to think about something else.”

Townsend VersionTownsend version

A wild boar stood under a tree and rubbed his tusks against the trunk. A Fox passing by asked him why he thus sharpened his teeth when there was no danger threatening from either huntsman or hound. He replied, “I do it advisedly; for it would never do to have to sharpen my weapons just at the time I ought to be using them.”

1001Aper et Vulpes

Stabat olim aper iuxta arborem dentesque acuebat. Quem cum vulpes vidisset, “Quidnam dentes acuis,” inquit, “dum nulla necessitas adest, neque venator neque periculum imminet ullum?” Cui aper “Haud frustra id ago,” respondit, “nam si periculum aliquando contigerit, non tunc in acuendis dentibus tempus teram, sed utar promptis et bene paratis.”

Perry #224