A WOLF ran out of the forest into a village—not to pay a visit, but to save its life; for it trembled for its skin.
The huntsman and a pack of hounds were after it.
It would fain have rushed in through the first gateway, but there was this unfortunate circumstance in the way all the gateways were closed.
The Wolf saw a Cat on a partition fence and said pleadingly: "Vaska, my friend, tell me quickly, which of the moujiks here is the kindest, so that I may hide myself from my evil foes. Listen to the cry of the dogs and the terrible sound of the horns. All that noise is actually made in chase of me."
"Go quickly and ask Stefan," said Vaska, the Cat; "he is a very kind man."
"Quite true; only I have torn the skin off one of his sheep."
"Well, then, try Demian."
"I'm afraid he's angry with me, too; I carried off one of his kids."
"Run over there, then; Trofim lives there."
"Trofim! I should be afraid of even meeting him. Ever since the spring he has been threatening me about a lamb."
"Dear me , that's bad! But perhaps Klim will protect you."
"Oh, Vaska, I have killed one of his calves!"
"What do I hear, friend? You've quarreled with all the village," said Vaska to the Wolf.
"What sort of protection can you hope for here? No, no; our peasants are not so destitute of sense as to be willing to save you to their own hurt. And, really, you have only yourself to blame. What you have sown, that you must now reap."