Harriette Taylor Treadwell

The Straw Ox

Part 2 of 2

Soon a wolf came out of the woods.

He ran at the ox and said,

"Who are you? Speak and tell me."


"I am an ox, I am.

I am made of straw

and smeared with tar, I am."


"Oh, you are made of straw

and smeared with tar, are you?"

said the wolf.


[43]

"Give me some of your tar.

Then I can smear my coat,

and the dogs can not tear me."


"You may take some," said the ox.


The wolf ran at the ox.

He began to tear away the tar,

and he stuck fast.

He pulled and pulled,

but he could not get away.

Then the ox brought the wolf home.


[Illustration]

[44]

The old woman awoke.

"Where is my ox?" she cried.

"I will go home to see."

So she got up and went home,

There stood the ox and the wolf.


She ran to the old man.

"Look," she cried,

"the ox has brought us a wolf."

The old man came out

and threw the wolf into the cellar.


The next morning the old woman caught

a fox in the same way.

And the next morning she caught a hare.

The old man put them into the cellar.


Then he sat down by the cellar door

and began to sharpen his knife.


The bear said,

"Daddy, why do you sharpen your knife?"


[Illustration]

"I am going to take your skin off.

I want a warm jacket for winter,

and the old woman wants a coat."


"Do not take away my skin, Daddy.

Let me go and I will bring you some honey."


"See that you do," said the old man.

And he let the bear go.


Then he sat down again,

and he began to sharpen his knife.


[46]

"Why do you sharpen your knife, Daddy?"

said the wolf.


"I am going to take your skin off.

I want a fur cap for winter."


"Do not take away my skin, Daddy.

Let me go, and I will bring you

a flock of sheep."


"See that you do," said the old man,

and he let the wolf go.


Then he sat down again

and began to sharpen his knife.


"Why do you sharpen your knife, Daddy?"

said the fox.


"I am going to take your skin off.

I want a fur collar for winter."


"Do not take away my skin, Daddy.

Let me go and I will bring you

a flock of geese."


[47]

"See that you do," said the old man,

and he let the fox go.


Then the old man began to sharpen

his knife again.

The little hare said,

"Daddy, why do you sharpen your knife?"


"I am going to take your skin off.

Little hares have warm fur.

I want some mittens for winter."


"Do not take away my skin, Daddy.

Let me go, and I will bring you

some turnips."

"See that you do," said the old man,

and he let the hare go.


The next morning the old woman said,

"Some one is at the door.

Let us go to see who it is."


[Illustration]

[48]

They went to the door.

There stood the bear with the honey.

There stood the wolf with the sheep.

There stood the fox with the geese.

And there stood the hare with the turnips.


Now the old man and the old woman

have all they need.


And the straw ox stands in the sun.


— Russian Folk Tale.