The bear, the wolf and the fox had harvested a barley field and shared
the harvest. The fox had fooled the other two so well that he got all
the corn while the other two animals had only straw and chaff without
even knowing they had been tricked. Now they all wanted to see what
kind of porridge their meal would make.
The bear's porridge came out black and disgusting. Greatly disturbed he
ambled over to the house of the fox for advice. The fox was stirring
his own porridge. It was white and smooth.
"What's the matter with my porridge?" the bear asked. "Yours is white and smooth but mine is black and horrid."
"Did you wash your meal before you put it into the pot?" the fox asked.
"Wash it? No! How do you wash meal?"
"You take it to the river and drop it in the water. Then when it's clean you take it out."
The bear at once went home and got his ground up straw and took it to
the river. He dropped it in the water, and it spread out far and wide
as the current carried it off. That was the end of the bear's share of
The wolf had as little luck as the bear with his porridge. Soon he, too, came to the fox for advice.
"I don't know what's wrong with me," he said. "I don't seem to be able
to make good porridge. Look - yours all white and smooth! I must watch
you how you make it. Won't you let me hang my pot on your crane? Then
I'll do just as you do."
"Certainly," the fox said. "Hang your pot on this chain and the two pots can then cook side by side."
"Yours is so white to begin with," the wolf said, "and mine looks no better than dirt."
"Before you came I climbed up the chain and hung over the pot," the fox
said. "The heat of the fire melted the fat in my tail and it dripped
down into the pot. It's that fat that makes my porridge look so white."
The wolf at once climbed the chain and let himself hang above his
porridge. But he didn't stay there long. The flames scorched him and he
fell down hurting his side. And to this day all wolves smell of burnt
After he had got his breath, the wolf tasted his porridge again to see if it was any better. But it was as bad as ever.
"I don't see any difference in it," he said. "Let me taste yours, Mikko."
The fox artfully scooped up a spoonful of the wolf's porridge and dropped it into his own pot.
"Help yourself," he said. "Take some out of that spot there. That's good."
The place he pointed to was the place where he had dropped some of the
wolf's own porridge. Thus the wolf sampled his own porridge again,
thinking he was tasting Mikko's.
"Strange," he said, "your porridge doesn't taste good to me either. I
don't think anything tastes good to me today. The truth is I don't
think I like porridge."
He went home, sad and discouraged, while the fox chuckled to himself
and said, "I wonder why the wolf doesn't like porridge. It tastes good