The Wild and Tame Geese

Two tame Geese joined a group of wild Geese. A Fox approached and all the Geese took wing. The tame, however, were not used to flying. Fox’s supper!

Be prepared for anything.

JBR CollectionJBR Collection

Wild and Tame GeeseTwo Geese strayed from a farmyard, and swam down a stream to a large morass, which afforded them an extensive range and plenty of food. A flock of Wild Geese frequently resorted to the same place; and though they were at first so shy as not to suffer the tame ones to join them, by degrees they became well acquainted and associated freely together. One evening their cackling reached the ears of a Fox that was prowling at no great distance from the morass. The artful plunderer directed his course through a wood on the borders of it, and was within a few yards of his prey before any of the Geese perceived him. But the alarm was given just as he was springing upon them, and the whole flock instantly ascended into the air, with loud and dissonant cries. The Wild Geese winged their flight into higher regions, and were seen no more; but the two tames [sic] ones, unused to soar, and accustomed to receive protection without any exertion of their own powers, soon dropped down, and became successively the victims of the Fox.


[Note: The Northcote fable is the same fable as in the JBR Collection above. Only the illustrations and Application associated with the fable in the Northcote book are displayed here.]


The faculties of every animal are impaired by disuse, and strengthened by exercise. And in man, the energy and versatility of the mind depend upon action no less than the vigour and agility of the body.

JN Fable 009

Sketch: James Northcote; Wood drawing: William Harvey; Engraving: G.W. Bonner (1828)

JN Fable 009a

Wood drawing: William Harvey (1828)