THE BOBTAILED FOX
One day, a peasant was walking on the road, and after he packed the horse with food and other items, he was returning home. The fox saw him and stared at the fishes in the middle of the things. She plotted a plan and went to lay down in the street and act like she was dead. The peasant saw her and he was flattered. He seized her by the legs and threw her back on the horse, then began walking and was thinking about the things he could buy with the money that he would take from the sale of the fox skin. When she saw the peasant deep in his thoughts, the fox snapped the bag with her teeth and all the fishes fell on the ground one by one. She ate fish and pleased for two days. As a fugitive she was, she went away but fell into a trap that caught her tail. She was finding no way of escape, so she snapped the tail with her teeth and fled. But when she met her friends, they burst out laughing and would not stop ceasing her ‘bobtailed’, and from then on they all called her like that. But the fox vowed that they would pay for calling her like that. One day, she saw, in a farmer’s garden, a tree full of ripe pears that made her salivate. Then the bobtailed fox opened a hole in the fence and ran to her friends and asked them that if they wanted to eat the pears till they overfed, and they said "yes" doubtless. They asked where the pears were but she said that she would tell them only if they promised something, and she said:
- When we’ll go there, I'm afraid that will fight with each other and the noise will upend the entire village. I will take the risk, I will climb the tree and throw the pears down to you. But for the things to go well, you have to tie your tails around the tree.
They agreed to go to the garden where the pear tree was, led by the bobtailed fox. Once they reached the place, they tied the tails around the tree and the fox climbed the tree, but guess what? She chose the delicious pears for herself and gave to her peers the spoilt and raw ones. The night passed and the dawn came, the bobtailed fox was satisfied with the food and began to yell:
Mister, come outside and look at the foxes that have come to eat the pears!
They begged her to stop but she did not care, and screamed till the villagers came out, then she came down from the tree and ran away. The foxes could not escape from a real beating, but they were forced to cut the tails with their teeth to wriggle out. From that day on none of them could laugh at the bobtailed fox. One day the bobtailed fox went to the wolf’s cave and slipped in. She could eat what she wanted, but when the time to leave came, the wolf appeared and she greeted him as if nothing had happened: Where you have been, my dear godfather? I have two hours waiting for you.
Wolf was deceived and spoke sincerely, saying that he hadn’t seen her for days and had missed her. They had a little talk and the wolf invited her to stay at his lair. At that moment all the good things the wolf had in the cave came to her mind, so she accepted the invitation. But she still had the fear because she didn’t trust him that much. One day the wolf was hunting, and the fox couldn’t stop meddling everywhere, so she found a jar full of honey in a corner. She was salivating but couldn’t eat it because if the wolf came back and noticed, she would go to pieces. So she left it for another day . A few days later, the wolf went outside the cave to warm himself in the sun, and the fox said she would go out. When he asked her where she would go, she said:
I have been called to give the name of a child. -and pretended she took the way to the village.
But she went behind the cave and came in from a hole that she had opened and went instantly at the jar full of honey. When the wolf woke up, he found the fox laid down next to him fit as a fiddle and asked her when did she come that fast, and how she named the child. Fox responded:
I called the baby Grykuli.
Wolf was a little surprised because he hadn’t heard of such name, but he didn’t speak. Few days passed, and the fox said she would go to the village because they had asked her again to give name to a baby. The wolf didn’t like that but there was nothing he could do, so he told her to hurry up. Fox did the same thing like the first time, but this time she could go to the middle of the jar. When she turned back, the wolf asked again for the child's name, and she said:
I called this Mesuli.
He was surprised again by the name, but did not speak. A few days passed again and she could not look forward to finish the honey in the jar. She asked the wolf’s permission to leave for a while to do the same thing as before. Wolf noticed something was going wrong so he asked her:
Can you tell me, you’re the only one they call to give names to children?
Fox said she had given the word and should go there, but she swore that it was the last time. And she did the same thing as both last times. When the fox turned back to the cave, the wolf again asked for the child's name and she replied: - I called this Funduli.
Days later, the wolf went hunting but it didn’t go well, so he came home empty-handed. Then the pot of honey came into his mind and he ran to eat because he was very hungry. But when he saw the jar, it was empty! He puzzled over for a while, and went to the fox because she was the only one who had been in the cave. But as a cunning fox that she was, said:
- What are you talking about, dear godfather? I didn’t eat the honey and I don’t know anything at all about it.
They hassled for a while but he couldn’t find the truth. They agreed to go on a trap by putting the paw on it and swear about the truth, and the one caught by the trap, would be guilty. Walking, they found trap where the tail of the fox was. It was like the trap was there providentially. The fox swore the first but she already knew the trick and bailed out. When the wolf’s turn came, he went closer to the trap to put his paw on the trap and it was caught at once. The wolf admitted that he was guilty and asked for help. Fox felt sorry about the wolf, ate his paw with her teeth and saved his life. Then he said:
- Until now, I kept eating and drinking at your house, now it's my turn.
But the fox was a fox, and could never stop her habits. One day she told the wolf she had heard that the villagers would organize a great feast. So they went. The fox leading and the wolf back limping. When he came to the house where the feast was being organized, the fox did not enter but convinced the wolf to go in. When she saw him climbing the window, she pushed him and the wolf went smack in the middle of the room. When the villagers saw him, each of them ran to get a riffle or a piece of wood, and came back to kill the wolf. Just as they caught him, they heard the fox calling from far away:
- Please, let him live because he is limping, take his fur, but not his life.
Surprisingly the villagers changed their minds and they didn’t strangle him, but soaked him and let him go away. Then the fox met him and said:
- Did you see, my dear godfather, I helped you get away this time too. Don’t worry about the skin, it will sprout again. But if you want to escape from the flies go to the river and wallow in the sand.
The wolf was so silly, that he went to wallow in the burning sand. Here ends the tale, but the fox’s misdeeds continued even later.