There exists a family of stories in in diverse countries that concern a. the
where the fox leads the wolf to believe the moon reflection in the water is a cheese and the wolf bursts in the attempt to drink up the water to get at the cheese; the of the hyena that drops the bone to go after the moon reflection in the water; the of the peasant watering his on a moonlight night. A cloud obscures the moon, and the peasant, thinking the ass has drunk the moon, kills the beast to recover the moon; the of the who thinks the moon has fallen into the well and gets a rope and chain with which to pull it out. In his efforts the rope breaks, and he falls back, but seeing the moon in the sky, praises Allah that the moon is safe; the The Wolf and the Fox This is first recorded in literature during the by the French rabbi with a in his commentary weaving together three Biblical quotations given in the main text (including one on \” \”) into a reconstruction of some of the Talmudic \’s supposed three hundred (\” \”, in later works \” \”), in the tractate A fox once craftily induced a wolf to go and join the Jews in their preparations and share in their festivities. On his appearing in their midst the Jews fell upon him with sticks and beat him. He therefore came back determined to kill the fox. But the latter pleaded: \’It is no fault of mine that you were beaten, but they have a grudge against your father who once helped them in preparing their banquet and then consumed all the choice bits. \’ \’And was I beaten for the wrong done by my father? \’ cried the indignant wolf. \’Yes,\’ replied the fox, \’ the fathers have eaten sour grapes and the children\’s teeth are set on edge.
However,\’ he continued, \’come with me and I will supply you with abundant food. He led him to a well which had a beam across it from either end of which hung a rope with a bucket attached. The fox entered the upper bucket and descended into the well whilst the lower one was drawn up. \’Where are you going? \’ asked the wolf. The fox, pointing to the cheese-like reflection of the moon, replied: \’Here is plenty of meat and cheese; get into the other bucket and come down at once. \’ The wolf did so, and as he descended, the fox was drawn up. \’And how am I to get out? \’ demanded the wolf. \’Ah\’ said the fox \’ the righteous is delivered out of trouble and the wicked cometh in his stead. Is it not written, Just balances, just weights \’? Rashi as the first literary reference may reflect the well-known tradition of or a more obscure such tradition in (see also the tradition in ); the near-contemporary Iraqi rabbi also reconstructed this Rabbi Meir tale, sharing some elements of Rashi\’s story, but with a lion caught in a rather than a wolf in a well however, Rashi may have actively \”adapted contemporary [French] folklore to the [T]almudic passage\”, as was practiced in different Jewish communities.
Though the tale itself is probably of non-Jewish European origin, Rashi\’s form and elements are likely closer to the original in oral folklore than the somewhat later variation recorded featuring. Rashi\’s version already includes the fox, the wolf, the and the Moon that are seen in later versions. , a Spanish Jewish convert to Christianity, popularized this tale in Europe in his collection. The variation featuring the Fox appeared soon after Petrus Alphonsi in the French classic Le Roman de Renart (as \”Renart et Ysengrin dans le puits\” in Branch IV); the Moon/cheese element is absent (it is replaced by a promise of Paradise at the bottom of the well), but such a version is alluded to in another part of the collection. This was the first Reynard tale to be adapted into English (as the Middle English \”e Vox and e Wolf\”), preceding Chaucer\’s \” \” and the much later work of. Later still, the Middle Scots does include the Moon/cheese element. La Fontaine includes the story in the French classic compilation (\”Le Loup et le Renard\” in Book XI).
The German tale of in Grimm replaces the well with a well-stocked cellar, where a newly satiated wolf is trapped and subject to the farmer\’s revenge, being now too overstuffed to escape through the exit. One of the facets of this morphology is grouped as \”The Wolf Dives into the Water for Reflected Cheese\” (Type 34) of the of folktales, where the Moon\’s reflection is mistaken for cheese, in the section devoted to tales of. It can also be grouped as \”The Moon in the Well\” (Type 1335A), in the section devoted to, referring to stories where the simpleton believes the Moon itself is a tangible object in the water. The use of the words \”The moon is made of green cheese\” in a passive sentence creates a dilemma of syntax, depending upon whether it is considered to be a \”phrase\” and its larger context. In 1902, plenty of children believed the moon was made out of cheese. Other moon materials, according to kids? \”Yellow paper, dead people, and rags. \” While it\’s hard to know who started the idea that the moon is made of cheese, the myth gained popularity in the mid-16th century. It\’s often attributed to English writer John Heywood or French monk and scholar FranГois Rabelais. When Heywood mentioned it in 1564, he was referring to something so ludicrous that only the extremely gullible would believe it.