The Bear And The Two Travelers

Two friends were traveling together when they suddenly met up with a Bear. One man quickly climbed a tree, hiding himself among the branches. The other, seeing that he had no chance of escape, fell flat on the ground, and when the Bear came up and felt the man with his snout, he held his breath and pretended to be dead. The Bear soon left, believing his ruse. When the beast was out of sight, the other man descended from the tree and jokingly asked his friend, "What was it the Bear whispered in your ear?" "Well," the man replied, "he gave me some advice: be careful of friends who leave you in the lurch." Misfortune tests the sincerity of affection. The Fables of Aesop (1995) at 33-34.