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Main > Fairy tale > All authors > Andrew Lang > Fairy tale "The War of the Wolf and the Fox"

The War of the Wolf and the Fox

'

This was the cat, who was marching along with her tail erect.

And so they laughed and jeered, and it was so hot that the bear said, 'The enemy won't be here at this rate for many hours to come, so I'll just curl myself up in the fork of the tree and have a little sleep.'

And the wolf lay down under the oak, and the wild boar buried himself in some straw, so that nothing was seen of him but one ear.

And while they were lying there, the fox, the cat and the dog arrived. When the cat saw the wild boar's ear, she pounced upon it, thinking it was a mouse in the straw.

The wild boar got up in a dreadful fright, gave one loud grunt and disappeared into the wood. But the cat was even more startled than the boar, and, spitting with terror, she scrambled up into the fork of the tree, and as it happened right into the bear's face. Now it was the bear's turn to be alarmed, and with a mighty growl he jumped down from the oak and fell right on the top of the wolf and killed him as dead as a stone.

On their way home from the war the fox caught score of mice, and when they reached Simon's cottage he put them all on the stove and said to the cat, 'Now go and fetch one mouse after the other, and lay them down before your master.'

'All right,' said the cat, and did exactly as the fox told her.

When Susan saw this she said to her husband, 'Just look, here is our old cat back again, and see what a lot of mice she has caught.'

'Wonders will never cease,' cried Simon. 'I certainly never thought the old cat would ever catch another mouse.'

But Susan answered, 'There, you see, I always said our cat was a most excellent creature--but you men always think you know best.'

In the meantime the fox said to the dog, 'Our friend Simon has just killed a pig; when it gets a little darker, you must go into the courtyard and bark with all your might.'

'All right,' said the dog, and as soon as it grew dusk he began to bark loudly.

Susan, who heard him first, said to her husband, 'Our dog must have come back, for I hear him barking lustily.

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