English KS1/KS2: Aesop's Fables - 23. Two Travellers and a Bear
Two men are travelling on foot together. Entering a forest as night falls, one of the men expresses concern about the danger of en- countering a bear. The other laughs at this, claiming to have successfully fought off bears in the past. The first man is reassured by this, so they continue into the forest, where they do indeed encounter a bear.
The man who claimed to be able to fight bears climbs into a tree to escape, but refuses to help his friend climb up too. So, the first man pretends to be dead. The bear does not eat him, as he does not want to eat prey that is already dead. As the bear bends over him, it appears to whisper in his ear, (although in fact it is sniffing). When the coward who climbed the tree comes down, he asks what the bear said. The first man, angry, says that the bear warned of supposed friends who desert you in times of danger.