Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Fox and The Wolf

Once upon a time there lived an old man and his wife.  The old man said to his wife,
-          Diane, you start the bread batter while I go catch some fish.
The old man caught a sleigh full of fish and got on his horse to go home. 
On the way home the old man saw a fox laying in the middle of the road.  The old man got of his horse, came close to the fox to see if it was alive.  The fox neither moved nor took a breath.  It seemed to be dead.
-          What a wonderful find!  This fox’s fur will make a great hat for my wife, - thought the old man.
So, the man picked up the fox, put it in the back of his sleigh and pulled his horse to the house.
The fox, however, was pretending to be dead.  It waited for a perfect opportunity and started dropping fish that the old man had caught – one by one, one by one.  Once all the fish was gone, the fox jumped off the sleigh and hid behind some pine trees.
The old man came home and proudly called for his wife to come out and look at what beautiful fur he got her for a rich-looking hat.
The old man’s wife came out of the house, looked in the sleigh and saw neither fur, nor fish.  She started cursing the old man,
-          You are such a drum-head and a liar!  What has compelled you to make up a story like that?!
The old man realized that the fox wasn’t indeed dead.  He sighed and grieved but had to let it go – there was nothing he could do.
Meanwhile, the fox picked up all the fish she had thrown off the old man’s sleigh.  It piled the fish in the middle of the road, got comfortable and started her dinner.
There was a wolf passing by.  It saw the fox, stopped and wondered,
-          Hello there, sweetheart.  What is that you are having for dinner?
-          What I eat is all mine, and you should stay away and mind your business, - replied the fox.
-          Wouldn’t you want to share some fish with your old buddy?
-          I sure wouldn’t, - the fox said. – If you want some fish, you go and catch some yourself.
-          I would if I could.  I don’t know how to fish, - the wolf shared sadly.
-          Interesting… - paused the fox. – I somehow caught some.  Okay, I’ll share my secret.  All you have to do is go to the river, dip your tail in the ice hole, sit there and repeat this saying, “Bite, fishies, bite.  Small fishies, bite.  Large fishies, bite!”  The fish will start biting right on your tail.  The longer you sit the more fish you’ll catch.
So the wold went to the river, dipped his tail in the ice hole, sat near and started repeating,
-          Bite, fishies, bite.  Small fishies, bite.  Large fishies, bite!
Bite, fishies, bite.  Small fishies, bite.  Large fishies, bite!
Here came the fox.  It saw that the silly old wolf believed every fox’s word.  So she started walking around the wolf whispering her own saying,
-          Twinkle, shine, little stars.
Let the wolf’s tail freeze in the ice hole.
                The wolf heard that the fox was whispering something and asked her,
-          Sweetheart, what are you saying back there?
-          Oh, I am simply trying to help you draw some fish onto your tail.
With those words, the fox went on whispering, 
-          Twinkle, shine, little stars.
Let the wolf’s tail freeze in the ice hole.
The wolf spent the whole night by the ice hole.  By morning his tail got completely wet and froze right in the cold winter water.  He tried to get up, but couldn’t!
So, the wolf thought to himself,
-          It must be all the fish I caught on my tail.
While wolf was contemplating his breakfast, the village woman came to the ice-hole to fetch some water.  She saw the wolf, got scared, but didn’t run.  Instead, she took her water bucket and started bushing the wolf with it.  She was beating the wolf.  She was bashing the wolf.  The wolf pulled and pulled his tail in trying to escape.  He ripped his tail off and ran for his life.
“Fox, you’ll pay me for my trouble, “  - thought the wolf running away.
Meantime, the fox was sneaked in the village woman’s house, ate the bread batter, smeared some dough on her head, ran outside and dropped in the middle of the road, moaning.
The wolf saw the fox and confronted it,
-          Here you are!  Is that what you call your helpful tip on how to fish?!  Look, I’ve been beaten and hurt!
The fox sadly groaned,
-          Oh, dear, dear.  You lost your tail, but at least your head is safe.  Look what happened to my head!  The village women beat me so hard than my brains came out of my head.  See?!
-          You’re right!  I see that! – the wolf agreed.  – I’m sorry, sweetheart.  I didn’t mean to be so angry.  Please let me give you a ride to the woods.
                The fox got on the wolf’s back and sang while riding,
-          I am riding such a fool!
Healthy fox on beaten wolf!
                The wolf heard the fox whispering something and asked,
-          What are you saying there, sweetheart?
-          Oh, I’m just trying to ease your pain.
Having said that, she resumed to singing,
-          I am riding such a fool!
Healthy fox on beaten wolf!



Mickey said...

Hmmm. I can relate to this one...

sasha sprague said...

We bought a russian version for the artwork, without the ability to speak russian, and always wondered what narrative could possibly inspire the illustrations.Now we know and are deeply enriched by this fable.

Rich Hanes said...

What a clever and wonderful fox! Thank you for sharing this. I love foxes.