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Main > English folktales > Fairy tale "Scrapefoot"

Scrapefoot

Once upon a time, there were three Bears who lived in a castle in a great wood. One of them was a great big Bear, and one was a middling Bear, and one was a little Bear. And in the same wood there was a Fox who lived all alone, his name was Scrapefoot. Scrapefoot was very much afraid of the Bears, but for all that he wanted very much to know all about them. And one day as he went through the wood he found himself near the Bears' Castle, and he wondered whether he could get into the castle. He looked all about him everywhere, and he could not see any one. So he came up very quietly, till at last he came up to the door of the castle, and he tried whether he could open it. Yes! the door was not locked, and he opened it just a little way, and put his nose in and looked, and he could not see any one. So then he opened it a little way farther, and put one paw in, and then another paw, and another and another, and then he was all in the Bears' Castle. He found he was in a great hall with three chairs in it—one big, one middling, and one little chair; and he thought he would like to sit down and rest and look about him; so he sat down on the big chair. But he found it so hard and uncomfortable that it made his bones ache, and he jumped down at once and got into the middling chair, and he turned round and round in it, but he couldn't make himself comfortable. So then he went to the little chair and sat down in it, and it was so soft and warm and comfortable that Scrapefoot was quite happy; but all at once it broke to pieces under him and he couldn't put it together again! So he got up and began to look about him again, and on one table he saw three saucers, of which one was very big, one was middling, one was quite a little saucer. Scrapefoot was very thirsty, and he began to drink out of the big saucer. But he only just tasted the milk in the big saucer, which was so sour and so nasty that he would not taste another drop of it. Then he tried the middling saucer, and he drank a little of that.

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