The Wolf And The Fox

Sacred Texts  Household Tales Index  Previous: Allerleirauh  Next: Hans In Luck 

 The Wolf And The Fox
      The wolf had the fox with him, and whatsoever the wolf wished, that the
 fox was compelled to do, for he was the weaker, and he would gladly have been
 rid of his master. It chanced that once as they were going through the forest,
 the wolf said, "Red fox, get me something to eat, or else I will eat thee
 thyself." Then the fox answered, "I know a farm-yard where there are two
 young lambs; if thou art inclined, we will fetch one of them." That suited the
 wolf, and they went thither, and the fox stole the little lamb, took it to the
 wolf, and went away. The wolf devoured it, but was not satisfied with one; he
 wanted the other as well, and went to get it. As, however, he did it so
 awkwardly, the mother of the little lamb heard him, and began to cry out
 terribly, and to bleat so that the farmer came running there. They found the
 wolf, and beat him so mercilessly, that he went to the fox limping and
 howling. "Thou has misled me finely," said he; "I wanted to fetch the other
 lamb, and the country folks surprised me, and have beaten me to a jelly." The
 fox replied, "Why art thou such a glutton?"
      Next day they again went into the country, and the greedy wolf once more
 said, "Red fox, get me something to eat, or I will eat thee thyself." Then
 answered the fox, "I know a farm-house where the wife is baking pancakes to
 - night; we will get some of them for ourselves." They went there, and the fox
 slipped round the house, and peeped and sniffed about until he discovered
 where the dish was, and then drew down six pancakes and carried them to the
 wolf. "There is something for thee to eat," said he to him, and then went his
 way. The wolf swallowed down the pancakes in an instant, and said, "They make
 one want more," and went thither and tore the whole dish down so that it broke
 in pieces. This made such a great noise that the woman came out, and, when she
 saw the wolf, she called the people, who hurried there, and beat him as long
 as their sticks would hold together, till the two lame legs, and howling
 loudly, he got back to the fox in the forest. "How abominably thou hast misled
 me!" cried he, "the peasants caught me, and tanned my skin for me." But the
 fox replied, "Why art thou such a glutton?"
      On the third day, when they were out together, and the wolf could only
 limp along painfully, he again said, "Red fox, get me something to eat, or I
 will eat thee thyself." The fox answered, "I know a man who has been killing,
 and the salted meat is lying in a barrel in the cellar; we will get that."
 Said the wolf, "I will go when thou dost, that thou mayest help me if I am not
 able to get away." "I am willing," said the fox, and showed him the by-paths
 and ways by which at length they reached the cellar. There was meat in
 abundance, and the wolf attacked it instantly and thought, "There is plenty of
 time before I need leave off!" The fox liked it also, but looked about
 everywhere, and often ran to the hole by which they had come in, and tried if
 his body was still thin enough to slip through it. The wolf said, "Dear fox,
 tell me why thou art running here and there so much and jumping in and out?"
      "I must see that no one is coming," replied the crafty fellow. "Don't eat
 too much!" Then said the wolf, "I shall not leave until the barrel is empty."
 In the meantime the farmer, who had heard the noise of the fox's jumping, came
 into the cellar. When the fox saw him he was out of the hole at one bound. The
 wolf wanted to follow him, but he had made himself so fat with eating that he
 could no longer get through, but stuck fast. Then came the farmer with a
 cudgel and struck him dead, but the fox bounded into the forest glad to be rid
 of the old glutton.