Zeluna.net is a treasure trove of the world's mythology and fairy tales. That's where I found the following canny tale, in which a cat and a fox each find ways of escape according to their lights. . .
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One day while the fox was out walking in the forest, he met a stranger. "Good day," he said. "Who are you?"
"I am a cat," said the stranger. I had service in a decent family but I had to leave them."
"Did they treat you badly?" the fox asked.
"No, it wasn't that. They were considerate enough, but they kept getting poorer and poorer till finally they hadn't food enough to feed us animals. Then I overheard the master say that soon they'd be forced to eat us and that they'd begin with me. At that I decided it was time for me to run away, and here I am."
"Poor cat," said the fox, "you have had a cruel experience! Why don't you take service with me?"
"Will I be safe with you?" the cat asked. "Will you protect me?"
"Will I?" the fox repeated boastfully. "Dear cat, once it becomes known that you are my servant all the animals will show you much and wholesome respect."
"Very well then, I'll enter your service," the cat said. . .
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. . . But do all the animals really show respect - particularly the bear they're about to meet? Better go read the rest of the story here.