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1001 Stories Collection

Tiger and Fox

1001 tigerandfox
Added on 13th August 2020

Oral tradition Chinese fable

A fox must think quickly when he meets a hungry tiger.


One day, a fox is out in the woods and meets a tiger. Facing certain death, the fox tells the tiger that he, the fox, is the king of the forest. The tiger follows behind the fox as they walk through the forest and, seeing all the animals running away in fear, the tiger believes the fox and runs away too.

Why we chose it

Children love stories about animals, particularly stories about tricksters and this is a great animal trickster tale. It is also the story that inspired The Gruffalo.

Where it came from

Tiger and Fox is a Chinese folk tale in the oral tradition. Also known as The Fox Borrows the Tiger’s Terror, it came from Intrigues of the Warring States (sometimes called Strategies of the Warring States), which is a collection of stories compiled during the 5th-3rd centuries BC in the time of the Western Han Dynasty.

Where it went next

Tiger and Fox is in many collections of Chinese parables and folklore, including The Magic Lotus Lantern and Other Tales from the Han Chinese (2006).

Associated stories

The story will be familiar to many as the inspiration for The Gruffalo (Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, 1999).

Added on 13th August 2020

Oral tradition Chinese fable