But if the little fox, after nearly completing the crossing,
Get his tail in the water,
There is nothing that would further.
"The conditions are difficult. The task is great and full of responsibility. It is nothing less than that of leading the world out of confusion and back to order. But it is a task that promises success, because there is a goal that can unite the forces now tending in different directions. At first, however, one must move warily, like an old fox walking over ice. The caution of a fox walking over ice is proverbial. His ears are constantly alert to the cracking of the ice, as he carefully and circumspectly searches out the safest spots. A young fox who as yet has not acquired this caution goes ahead boldly, and it may happen that he falls in and gets his tail wet when he is almost across the water. Accordingly, in times 'before completion,' deliberation and caution are the prerequisites of success."
(Note: The opening stanza is correct from the Wilhelm/Baynes translation. It does end with "further.")