Fantastic Fables by Ambrose Bierce: Philosophers Three
A BEAR, a Fox, and an Opossum were attacked by an inundation.
"Death loves a coward," said the Bear, and went forward to fight the flood.
"What a fool!" said the Fox. "I know a trick worth two of that." And he slipped into a hollow stump.
"There are malevolent forces," said the Opossum, "which the wise will neither confront nor avoid. The thing is to know the nature of your antagonist."
So saying the Opossum lay down and pretended to be dead.