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The Wolf and the Fox
Grimms Fairy Tales and German Folklore
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
you yourself. Then the fox answered, I know a farm-yard where
there are two young lambs. If you are 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. But as he did it so clumsily,
the mother of the little lamb heard him, and began to cry out
terribly, and to bleat so that the farmers came running there.
They found the wolf, and beat him so mercilessly, that he went
to the fox limping and howling. You have 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 are you 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 you yourself. 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 snatched six pancakes and carried
them to the wolf.
There is something for you 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 with two lame
legs, and howling loudly, he returned to the fox in the forest.
How abominably you have misled me, cried he, the peasants caught
me, and tanned my skin for me. But the fox replied, why are
you 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 your yourself. The fox
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 you do, that you may 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, to find out if his body was still
thin enough to slip through it. The wolf said, dear fox, tell
me why you are running here and there so much, and jumping in
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.