VIII. The Fox, the Bear, and the Farmer (2)
"Now listen to me," said the fox, "and
do just as I tell you. When the bear comes this evening, I will
be hiding in the bushes and blow a horn 1 just as the hunters'
do. Then the bear will ask, ` What is that 4' and you must answer,
` The hunters are coming.' The bear will be frightened and beg
you to conceal 2 him. Thereupon 3 you will make him crawl into
this big sack 4 and tell him not to stir .5 Then I will come out
of the bushes and ask, 'What is in that sack 4' You will reply,
` Blocks 6 of wood.' I will not believe it, and will say, ` Hit
7 it here on top 8 with your axe.' You will seize 9 your axe and
strike a mighty blow 10 into the bear's head, so that he will die
on the spot."
The farmer was pleased with this advice11 and he followed it to
the letter.12 Everything happened as the fox had said it would.13
The bear fell into the trap,14 and the farmer and his cows were
Did I not tell you that it would happen just so ?" said the
fox. "Learn from this, my friend, that cleverness is better
than might.lb I'll call in the morning for those nine hens and that
cock. Let them be nice fat ones ! And do you be at home, or you'll
be sorry for it !" 16
The farmer loaded 17 the bear on his wagon 18 and turned joyfully
19 homeward.20 Then he ate a hearty supper, went to bed and slept
soundly,21 and felt little fear of the fog ; for he had learned
from this animal that cleverness is better than might.
Very early the next morning, when the farmer had scarcely 22 opened
his eyes, the fox knocked at the door and demanded 23 the hens
and the cock. "In a moment, Brother Fox, in a moment ! Just
give me time to dress," called out the farmer.
He dressed hastily,24 but instead of opening the door, he stood
still and began to bark loudly. "Hallo,25 Farmer, what's that
I' That isn't a hound,26 is it 4" cried the fox anaiously.27
Yes, indeed, Brother Fox, that's a hound barking. There are two
of them. They slept here under the bed ; but how they got here
is more than I know.28 They are trying to rush out. I can hardly
Oh, hold them, I pray 29 you, until I can get out of this! " 30
cried the terrified 31 fox. " Never mind 32 the hens nor the
cock ; you may keep them."
When the farmer opened the door, the fox was already disappearing" over
the top of a high mountain. The farmer laughed heartily, and, if
he's not dead, perhaps he's laughing still.
1 The ox has two horns on its head. A hollow horn is used by the
hunter, who hunts foxes and bears. When the dogs hear the horn
they come to the hunter. 2 Or : hide. He will - want you to show
him a place where he cannot be seen. 3 Or : then. 4 Corn, potatoes,
etc., are kept in sacks. b Or : move. Do not stir : keep quite
quiet. I stirred, I have stirred. a Big pieces. T Or : knock, strike.
8 The top is the highest part. The top of a tree, of a mountain,
of a house. s Or : take into your hand. 10 Or: strike heavily.
u The fox told the farmer what he should do, he gave him good advice,
he advised him. 12 Or : exactly. He did everything the fox had
told him. 13 (that) it would (happen). 14 We catch mice in a trap.
Hunters sometimes catch big animals by means of traps. ls It is
better to be clever than strong.16 Or: you'll suffer for it, you'll
pay for it. Cp. V. 8. 17 Lifted. The bear was a heavy load. 18
A farmer's carriage, for carrying sacks of corn, etc. 19 Gladly.
s. joy, v. enjoy, rejoice. He enjoyed his supper : He ate a hearty
supper. He rejoiced that his life had been saved : He was very
glad not to have lost his life. 20 Towards home. 21 Slept well.
He was soon fast asleep (see III. 9), and did not wake once during
the night. 22 Or : hardly. 23 Or : asked for, wanted to have. 24
He made haste, so as to be dressed quickly. 25 We sometimes exclaim, " Hallo
!" when we are surprised. 26 A hunter's big dog. 27 The sound
of barking made him anxious; he was afraid that a hound might be
there. 28 I really cannot tell how they came under the bed. 29
Or : beg. 30 Or : away from here. 31 Much frightened, full of terror.
32 Do not trouble to fetch the birds. 33 Going out of sight ; opp.
to appear, come into sight.