Gateway to the Classics: Fairy Stories and Fables by James Baldwin
Fairy Stories and Fables by  James Baldwin

The Fox Outwitted

A fox one day met a Cock who was famous for his wisdom, and the two cunning fellows began to talk.

"How many tricks can you do?" asked the Fox.

"Well," answered the Cock, "I could do three if I were to try. How many can you do?"

"I could do threescore and three if I were to try," said the Fox.


"Tell me about some of them," said the Cock.

"Well," said the Fox, "one thing that I can do is to shut my left eye and give a great shout. It isn't every animal that can do that."

"Pshaw!" said the Cock, "that is easy enough."

"Let me see if you can do it," said the Fox.

The Cock shut his left eye and crowed as loud as he could: "Cock-a-doodle-do!"

But he shut the eye that was next to the Fox, and, before he could think, the Fox had grabbed him by the neck and started to his den with him. The farmer's wife saw what was done, and as Reynard went scampering down the road, she cried out:

"Drop that chicken! He belongs to me!"

"Tell her that I belong to you," said the Cock to the Fox, as he fluttered and gasped for breath.

The Fox opened his mouth to do so, and the Cock sprang quickly away and flew into a tree where he was out of reach. As the Fox slunk away among the bushes, the proud fellow shut one eye and gave a loud crow: "Cock-a-doodle-doo-oo!"

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