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As soon as he heard them
come in he tried to get away, but not before the man had seized hold
of the cream jug and thrown it at him, just catching him on the tail,
and that is the reason why the tips of foxes' tails are cream white to
this very day.

[Illustration: Bruin Carries Reynard]

Well, Reynard crept home and found Bruin in such a state, who
commenced to grumble and complain that it was all Reynard's fault that
he had lost his tail. So Reynard pointed to his own tail and said,
"Why, that's nothing; see my tail; they hit me so hard upon the head
my brains fell out upon my tail. Oh, how bad I feel; won't you carry
me to my little bed." So Bruin, who was a good-hearted soul, took him
upon his back and rolled with him towards the house. And as he went on
Reynard kept saying, "The sick carries the sound, the sick carries the
sound."

"What's that you are saying?" asked Bruin.

"Oh, I have no brains left, I do not know what I am saying," said
Reynard but kept on singing, "The sick carries the sound, ha, ha, the
sick carries the sound."

Then Bruin knew that he had been done and threw Reynard down upon the
ground, and would have eaten him up but that the fox slunk away and
rushed into a briar bush. Bruin followed him closely into the briar
bush and caught Reynard's hind leg in his mouth. Then Reynard called
out, "That's right, you fool, bite the briar root, bite the briar
root."

Bruin thinking that he was biting the briar root, let go Reynard's
foot and snapped at the nearest briar root. "That's right, now you've
got me,

don't hurt me too much,"

called out Reynard, and slunk away.

"Don't hurt me too much,
don't hurt me too much."

When Bruin heard Reynard's voice dying away in the distance he knew
that he had been done again, and that was the end of their
partnership.

Some time after this a man was plowing in the field with his two oxen,
who were very lazy that day. So the man called out at them, "Get a
move on or I'll give you to the Bear"; and when they didn't quicken
their pace he tried to frighten them by calling out, "Bear, Bear, come
and take these lazy oxen." Sure enough, Bruin heard him and came out
of the woods and said, "Here I am, give me the oxen, or else it'll be
worse for you." The man was in despair but said, "Yes, yes, of course
they are yours, but please let me finish my morning's plowing so I may
finish this acre." Bruin could not say "No" to that, and sat down
licking his chops and waiting for the oxen. The man went on plowing,
thinking what he should do, when just at the corner of the field
Reynard came up to him and said, "If you will give me two geese, I'll
help you out of this fix and deliver the Bear into your hands." The
man agreed and he told him what to do and went away into the woods.
Soon after, the Bear and the man heard a noise like "Bow-wow,
Bow-wow"; and the Bear came to the man and said, "What's that?" "Oh,
that must be the lord's hounds out hunting for bears." "Hide me, hide
me," said Bruin, "and I will let you off the oxen." Then Reynard
called out from the wood, "What's that black thing you've got there?"
And the Bear said, "Say it's the stump of a tree." So when the man had
called this out to the Fox, Reynard called out, "Put it in the cart;
fix it with the chain; cut off the boughs, and drive your axe into the
stump." Then the Bear said to the man, "Pretend to do what he bids
you; heave me into the cart; bind me with the chain; pretend to cut
off the boughs, and drive the axe into the stump." So the man lifted
Bruin into the cart, bound him with the chain, then cut off his limbs
and buried the axe in his head.

Then Reynard came forward and asked for his reward, and the man went
back to his house to get the pair of geese that he had promised.

"Wife, wife," he called out, as he neared the house, "get me a pair of
geese, which I have promised the Fox for ridding me of the Bear."

"I can do better than that," said his wife Ann, and brought him out a
bag with two struggling animals in it.

"Give these to Master Reynard," said she; "they will be geese enough
for him." So the man took the bag and went down to the field and gave
the bag to Reynard; but when he opened it out sprang two hounds, and
he had great trouble in running away from them to his den.

When he got to his den the Fox asked each of his limbs, how they had
helped him in his flight. His nose said, "I smelt the hounds"; his
eyes said, "We looked for the shortest way"; his ears said, "We
listened for the breathing of the hounds"; and his legs said, "We ran
away with you." Then he asked his tail what it had done, and it said,
"Why, I got caught in the bushes or made your leg stumble; that is all
I could do." So, as a punishment, the Fox stuck his tail out of his
den, and the hounds saw it and caught hold of it, and dragged the Fox
out of his den by it and ate him all up. So that was the end of Master
Reynard, and well he deserved it. Don't you think so?




[Illustration]

THE DANCING WATER, THE SINGING APPLE, AND THE SPEAKING BIRD


There was once an herb-gatherer who had three daughters who earned
their living by spinning. One day their father died and left them all
alone in the world. Now the king had a habit of going about the
streets at night, and listening at the doors to hear what the people
said of him. So one night he listened at the door of the house where
the three sisters lived, and heard them disputing. The oldest said:
"If I were the wife of the royal butler, I could give the whole court
to drink out of one glass of water, and there would be some left."

The second said: "If I were the wife of the keeper of the royal
wardrobe, with one piece of cloth I could clothe all the attendants,
and have some left."

But the youngest daughter said: "Were I the king's wife, I would bear
him two children: a son with a sun on his forehead, and a daughter
with a moon on her brow."

The king went back to his palace, and the next morning sent for the
sisters, and said to them: "Do not be frightened, but tell me what you
said last night." The oldest told him what she had said, and the king
had a glass of water brought, and commanded her to prove her words.
She took the glass, and gave all the attendants some water to drink,
and still there was some water left.

"Bravo!" cried the king, and summoned the butler. "This is your
husband. Now it is your turn," said the king to the next sister, and
commanded a piece of cloth to be brought, and the young girl at once
cut out garments for all the attendants, and had some cloth left.

"Bravo!" cried the king again, and gave her the keeper of the wardrobe
for her husband. "Now it is your turn," said the king to the
youngest.

"Please your Majesty, I said that if I were the king's wife, I would
bear him two children: a son with a sun on his forehead, and a
daughter with a moon on her brow."

"If that is true," replied the king, "you shall be my queen; if not,
you shall die," and straightway he married her.

Very soon the two older sisters began to be envious of the youngest.
"Look," said they; "she is going to be queen, and we must be
servants!" and they began to hate her. A few months before the queen's
children were to be born, the king declared war, and was obliged to go
with his army, but he left word that if the queen had two children: a
son with a sun on his forehead, and a girl with a moon on her brow,
the mother was to be respected as queen; if not, he was to be informed
of it, and would tell his servants what to do. Then he departed for
the war.

When the queen's children were born, a son with a sun on his forehead
and a daughter with a moon on her brow, as she had promised, the
envious sisters bribed the nurse to put little dogs in the place of
the queen's children, and sent word to the king that his wife had
given birth to two puppies. He wrote back that she should be taken
care of for two weeks, and then put into a tread-mill.

Meanwhile the nurse took the little babies, and carried them out of
doors, saying: "I will make the dogs eat them up," and she left them
alone. While they were thus exposed, three fairies passed by and
exclaimed: "Oh how beautiful these children are!" and one of the
fairies said: "What present shall we make these children?" One
answered: "I will give them a deer to nurse them." "And I a purse
always full of money." "And I," said the third fairy, "will give them
a ring which will change colour when any misfortune happens to one of
them."

The deer nursed and took care of the children until they grew up. Then
the fairy who had given them the deer came and said: "Now that you
have grown up, how can you stay here any longer?" "Very well," said
the brother, "I will go to the city and hire a house." "Take care,"
said the deer, "that you hire one opposite the royal palace." So they
went to the city and hired a palace as directed, and furnished it as
if they had been princes. When the aunts saw the brother and sister,
imagine their terror! "They are alive!" they said. They could not be
mistaken for there was the sun on the forehead of the son, and the
moon on the girl's brow. They called the nurse and said to her:
"Nurse, what does this mean? are our nephew and niece alive?" The
nurse watched at the window until she saw the brother go out, and then
she went over as if to make a visit to the new house. She entered and
said: "What is the matter, my daughter; how do you do? Are you
perfectly happy? You lack nothing. But do you know what is necessary
to make you really happy? It is the Dancing Water. If your brother
loves you, he will get it for you!" She remained a moment longer and
then departed.

[Illustration: _The Foster Mother_]

When the brother returned, his sister said to him; "Ah! my brother, if
you love me go and get me the Dancing Water." He consented, and next
morning saddled a fine horse, and departed. On his way he met a
hermit, who asked him, "Where are you going, cavalier?"

"I am going for the Dancing Water." "You are going to your death, my
son; but keep on until you find a hermit older than I." He continued
his journey until he met another hermit, who asked him the same
question, and gave him the same direction.



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