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Thornton Burgess

Bowser the Hound Isn't Fooled

R EDDY FOX had been taught so much by Granny Fox that he began to feel very wise and very important. Reddy is naturally smart and he had been very quick to learn the tricks that old Granny Fox had taught him. But Reddy Fox is a boaster. Every day he swaggered about on the Green Meadows and bragged how smart he was. Blacky the Crow grew tired of Reddy's boasting.

"If you're so smart, what is the reason you always keep out of sight of Bowser the Hound?" asked Blacky. "For my part, I don't believe that you are smart enough to fool him."

A lot of little meadow people heard Blacky say this, and Reddy knew it. He also knew that if he didn't prove Blacky in the wrong he would be laughed at forever after. Suddenly he remembered the trick that Granny Fox had played on the young hound at the railroad bridge. Why not play the same trick on Bowser and invite Blacky the Crow to see him do it? He would.

"If you will be over at the railroad bridge when the train comes this afternoon, I'll show you how easy it is to fool Bowser the Hound," said Reddy.

Blacky agreed to be there, and Reddy started off to find out where Bowser was. Blacky told every one he met how Reddy Fox had promised to fool Bowser the Hound, and every time he told it he chuckled as if he thought it the best joke ever.

Blacky the Crow was on hand promptly that afternoon and with him came his cousin, Sammy Jay. Presently they saw Reddy Fox hurrying across the fields, and behind him in full cry came Bowser the Hound. Just as old Granny Fox had done with the young hound, Reddy allowed Bowser to get very near him and then, as the train came roaring along, he raced across the long bridge just ahead of it. He had thought that Bowser would be so intent on catching him that he would not notice the train until he was on the bridge and it was too late, as had been the case with the young hound. Then Bowser would have to jump down into the swift river or be run over.

As soon as Reddy was across the bridge, he jumped off the track and turned to see what would happen to Bowser the Hound. The train was half way across the bridge, but Bowser was nowhere to be seen. He must have jumped already. Reddy sat down and grinned in the most self-satisfied way.

The long train roared past, and Reddy closed his eyes to shut out the dust and smoke. When he opened them again, he looked right into the wide-open mouth of Bowser the Hound, who was not ten feet away.

"Did you think you could fool me with that old trick?" roared Bowser.

Reddy didn't stop to make reply; he just started off at the top of his speed, a badly frightened little fox.

You see, Bowser the Hound knew all about that trick and he had just waited until the train had passed and then had run across the bridge right behind it.

And as Reddy Fox, out of breath and tired, ran to seek the aid of Granny Fox in getting rid of Bowser the Hound, he heard a sound that made him grind his teeth.

"Haw, haw, haw! How smart we are!"

It was Blacky the Crow.