One day, a tiger was walking around the forest. Suddenly, he saw a fox and caught it. He thought, “I will have an enjoyable lunch today.”
However, the cunning fox knew that he would be doomed if he didn’t lie. He told the tiger, “I am one sent by the king of heaven. If you eat me, the king will not forgive you, as I went sent by him to be the king of the forest.”
The tiger replied, “Prove that you’re the king of the animals.”
The fox said, “Just follow me, and see how the other animals treat me.”
The tiger followed the fox deep into the forest, and on the way, they saw rabbits, goats, deer, and bears. When they saw the tiger, they were afraid and ran for their lives. After they had walked around, the fox proudly told the tiger, “You see? All the animals in the forest fear me.” What the tiger didn’t realize was that they were actually afraid of him. But he believed the fox’s lie and the fox escaped his fate of being eaten.
The fox not only escaped the fate of being eaten but also got to strut around the forest as if he was feared as much as the tiger.
This story is from Chinese saying, “狐假虎威.” It is used to refer to those who bully or frighten others by relying on other people’s power. We should recognize their tactics.