Mister Fox

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Material Information

Title:
Mister Fox
Physical Description:
71 p. : ill. ; 17 cm.
Language:
English
Creator:
Ballantyne, R. M. ( Robert Michael ), 1825-1894 ( Author, Primary )
Thomas Nelson & Sons ( Publisher )
Publisher:
T. Nelson and Sons
Place of Publication:
London (Paternoster Row) ;
New York
Publication Date:

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Foxes -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Juvenile literature -- 1881   ( rbgenr )
Baldwin -- 1881
Genre:
Juvenile literature   ( rbgenr )
fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
England -- London
Scotland -- Edinburgh
United States -- New York -- New York

Notes

Statement of Responsibility:
by R. M. Ballantyne.
General Note:
Imprint also notes publisher's location in Edinburgh.
Funding:
Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management:
All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 001625120
oclc - 25768582
notis - AHP9797
System ID:
UF00026205:00001

Full Text
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THE CHASE


MISTER FOX.BYR. M. BALLANTYNE,AUTHOR OF "THE THREE LITTLE KITTENS," "MEE-A-OW,"ETC. ETC.A story I tell of all that befellA sly old fox in his den,-How he and his wffe led a pilfering life,And his little ones, eight, nine, ten,lrtonbon:T. NELSON AND SONS, PATERNOSTER ROW.EDINBURGH; AND NEW YORK.1881.


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MISTER FOX.DUET FOR CHILDREN.A Moderato.FIRSTVOICMA Foxwentout in a hun-gry plight, And heVOICE.begg'd of the moon to give him light, For he'd ma-ny miles totrot that night, Be fore he could reach his den, 0!I- " =7,,-L r --


6 MISTER FOX.den, 0! den, 0! For he'd ma-nymiles to-f- t- ,hatni -----e -- 42 4Lr--trot that night, Be fore he could reach his den, 0!rr^


MISTER FOX.A FOx went out in a hungry plight,And he begged of the moon to give him light,For he'd many miles to trot that nightBefore he could reach his den, O !And first he came to a farmer's yard,Where the ducks and geese declared it hardThat their nerves should be shaken and their restbe marred,By the visit of Mister Fox, 0!He took the gray goose by the sleeve;Says he, "Madam Goose, and by your leave,I'll take you away without reprieve,And carry you home to my den, 0 !"I II aeyuaa ihu eree


8 MISTER FOX.He seized the black duck by the neck,And swung her all across his back.Theblackduck cried out, "Quack! quack! quack!"With her legs hanging dangling down, O !Then old Mrs. Slipper-slopper jumped out of bed,And out of the window she popped her head,-"John, John, John, the gray goose is gone,And the fox is off to his den, !"Then John he went up to the hill,And he blew a blast both loud and shrill.Says the fox, "This is very pretty music--stillI'd rather be at my den, O "At last the fox got home to his den;To his dear little foxes, eight, nine, ten,Says he, "You're in luck, here's a good fat duck,With her legs hanging dangling down, 0!"He then sat down with his hungry wife;They did very well without fork or knife;They never ate a better goose in all their life,And the little ones picked the bones, O


MISTER FOX.A fox went out in a hungry plight,And he begged of the moon to give him light,For he'd many miles to trot that nightBefore he could reach his den, 0!"F you bad, naughty, long-tailed creature, I willnot give .you a singlebeam of light."The moon said this with agood deal of anger in its tone,and immediately became very


10 MR. FOX IS PITIFUL.sulky, and stuffed its head be-hind a cloud." Ah! dear good moon," saidthe fox, looking up with a piti-ful face, "pray do not abusemy poor tail. Now do, like agood old thing, take that cloudoff your face and light up mypath, for I have a long, longway to go to-night before I gethome to my den. Besides, Ihave to pay a visit to one ortwo farmyards, in order to finda supper for myself and myfamily."The moment the moon heardof the fox's family it put out


HIS FAMILY. 11its head and said, " Oh! you'vegot a family, have you ? ""Yes, indeed," replied theMISTER FOX BEGS OF THE MOON TO GIVE HIM LIGHT.fox, with a sigh, "I've got awife and ten little ones at home;and very hungry they all are,


12 MR. FOX'S COMPLAINT.for I have had an attack of anold complaint, which laid meup for the last three days, sothat I have not been able togo out a-hunting.The moon's angry face be-came a little milder when itthought of the hungry littlefoxes, so it threw some morelight over the country, andsaid-"An old complaint, eh? whatwas it, Mister Fox ?""I believe that it is called'laziness' by men; but MadamFox and I call it 'lassitude.'""Hum! never heard of it


THE MOON IS KIND. 13before," said the moon. " Verybad complaint, I suppose, eh?"" Oh, shocking! " replied thefox."Well, then, get along withyou," said the moon, throwinga flood of light over the wholecountry, "and see that youdon't do more mischief thanyou can help. You're too fondof mischief, Mister Fox. In-deed, I have often said I wouldbe glad to see you hanged. ButI have a feeling of pity foryour hungry little ones; soget along, and I'll show you alight."


"14 THE FARMYARD." Thank you very much, dearmoon," said the fox.Then, with a whisk of hisbushy tail, he galloped far awayover the hills, and fields, andmeadows.And first he came to a farmer's yard,Where the ducks and geese declared it hardThat their nerves should be shaken and their restbe marred,By the visit of Mister Fox, 0!" It's too bad, yes, it is reallytoo bad, that we should beso often disturbed by thatnaughty fox," said the graygoose to her sister. " I was just


WHAT THE GRAY GOOSE SAID. 15dropping offinto a com- -fo rtabledose. I de-clare I wouldbe very, veryangry if IHE DISTURBS THE FARMYARD.


16 TERROR IN THE YARD.was not very, very fright-ened."" Squeal! grunt! oh! squee-e-e-e-e-e-eek! there he comesagain, mother, oh dear! squeel-eek!" cried a little pig, themoment it caught sight of thefox.The big sow gave a low grunt."Hold your squeak, sillything,"she said; "what are you afraidof? Is your mother not bigand fat enough to protect you ?"" Co-co-co-coo! quiet, youmonster," cried the hen angrily," you'll waken up all my chick-ens if you make such a-" At(420)


WILD BEHAVIOUR OF THE CHICKS. 17this instant the fox sneaked upto the yard, and the chickensstarted up all at once so vio-lently that they nearly tossedtheir mother on her back.Then they rushed out andopened their eyes in astonish-ment. But no sooner did theysee the fox than they utteredone loud "quee-quee-quee-co-chickalum-doo " turned round,and fled under their mother'swings again; for these wisechickens knew that there wasno place of safety equal to theirown dear mother's bosom.":Why, what's the matter with(420) 2


18 SLINESS OF MR. FOX.you, my dear creatures ?" saidthe fox, with a quiet smile, ashe came up to the yard, andrested his fore-feet on the palingquite close to the big sow. Asthe fox spoke and begged themto make less noise, one of thelittle pigs ran forward, and, sit-ting down on its haunches, justunder the fox's nose, lookedup, and said, in a quick, sharpvoice, "Squee-e-k! " Then itpaused a little, drew a longbreath, and cried, passionately," Squee-e-e-e-e-eal Go away,bad fox; go, nobody wants youhere ; squeal! get along ;


THE ANGRY LITTLE PIG. 19squeak!-go, I say, go away,eek! squeal!""Very pretty indeed," saidthe fox, with a savage smile;"very sweet voice, but a little,just a leetle too-""Sque-e-e-e-eal! "interruptedthe pig."My dear child," said the fox," let me speak-" " Squeal! ""Onlylistenfor a-" "Squeak!""Pray do wait till I have-""Squeal!" " My dear pig,just a-" " Sque-e-e-e-eek! !"The fox could bear this nolonger. With one bound heleaped the fence. The next


"20 THE ATTACK ONmoment the ducks, and geese,and pigs, and hens, and chick-ens, were flying in all directionsand screaming with terror.He took the gray goose by the sleeve;Says he, " Madam Goose, and by your leave,I'll take you away without reprieve,And carry you home to my den, 0!"And, saying this, he seizedthe poor goose by the thickfeathers on her white breast,and gave her a dreadful shake.But the goose was a strongbird. She tore her sleeve outof the fox's grasp, and gave him


THE POOR GRAY GOOSE. 21such a ter- r .-rible blowon thesnout withher wingthat itTHE GRAY GOOSE IS KILLED.nearly blinded him, and obliged


22 THE HEN'S ALARM.him to sit down for a fewseconds to wipe his eyes withhis tail.While the fox was thus en-gaged, the hen ran into a corner,where her chickens gatheredround her and said, "Quee!quee quee! oh, dear me!chikalum-kee! what's to bedone, mother ? where shall wego?"The poor hen was terriblyfrightened; but she endea-voured to look calm, and said,"Do not fear, my little ones.Keep under my wings, and ifMister Fox comes, I will try to


SHE COMFORTS THE CHICKENS. 23defend you. Even if he doeskill me, I think he will spareyou."On hearing this the chickswere comforted, and nestledunder their mother's soft wings.Meanwhile the fat sow stoodgasping in another corner ofthe yard, to which she had fled,followed by her little pigs."What shall we do?" saidone little pig, with a mournfulsqueak."Ah! yes; what shall wedo ?" said another little pig,with a subdued yell."Do!" cried the little pig


24 THE LITTLE PIG'S ADVICE.who was so impudent to thefox when it first arrived. "Ivote that we catch the fox andhang it, or stick it on the pitch-fork; and nobody could do itbetter than yourself, mamma."The little pig uttered a passion-ate squeal, and wriggled histail violently. But the old sowgave a grunt, and said thatthey who chose might catchthe fox, but, for her part, shewould have nothing to do withhim.Now, when the fox recoveredfrom the blow on the snout helooked about for the gray goose,


THE BLACK DUCK IS ANGRY. 25and soon spied her hiding in acorner. " Aha! Madam Goose,you are there, are you ? Andby your leave I'll carry you offto my den, O whether you willor not." So saying, Mister Foxmade another rush at the graygoose, caught her by the sleeve,and tossed her up in the air.Then, when she came down, heworried her to death. At sightof this the black duck becameso enraged that she could nothelp quacking forth her anger."Ho, ho! madam!" said thefox, " I think I must take youtoo. So come along."


26 THE MOON DISTRESSED.He seized the black duck by the neck,And swung her all across his back.The black duck cried out, "Quack! quack! quack!"With her legs hanging dangling down, O !Having done this, Mister Foxthen seized the gray goose inhis mouth, sprang with themboth over the paling, and ranaway, to the amazement of themoon, who burst into tears, andsaid it had never shone uponsuch an impudent and wickedfox since the world began.Now, although the blackduck was carried off with herlegs hanging dangling down, 0!she was not dead, but continuedto quack! quack! quack! so


THE BLACK DUCK IS NOISY. 27fast and so loud that you wouldhave thought she wished to do,, CMISTER FOX RUNS OFF WITH HIS SUPPER.as much quacking as possiblebefore she died. This madethe other birds and beasts in


28 GREAT NOISE.the farmer's yard very sad, andthey all began to howl andscream so loudly that the foxthought the whole country-sidewould be roused out of theirbeds to give him chase, andonce or twice he thought ofdropping his burden; but, whenhe thought of the hungry littlefoxes in his den, he resolved todo his best to carry home theirsupper." Hold your noisy tongue,will you ?" he said to the duck,in a voice of rage."Quack! qua-a-a-a-ack!" Theduck stopped rather suddenly,


DEATH OF THE BLACK DUCK. 29for the fox caught her by theneck and shut up her mouth forever. In short, he killed her!Then,picking up the graygoose,which he had let fall, he gal-loped away again. But thecocks, and the hens, and theducks, and the geese, and thepigs in the yard continued tocrow, and scream, and yell, andsqueal so loudly, that the noiseat last awoke old Mrs. Slipper-slopper, the farmer's wife, whosat up in bed to listen."John! John !" she said,grasping her husband by thehead and shaking it.


30 THE FARMER'S ALARM."Sno-o-o-o-re !"replied John."John! I say," quoth thewife, giving his hair such a pullthat he sprang up with a loudroar." Eh ? what ? where ? oh, letgo dear me what is it ?" ex-claimed John."What is it, indeed!" re-torted the wife. "There areyou, sleeping and snoring likea lazy fellow, while there is mis-chief going on in the yard!Listen!"John turned his ear to thewindowand listened; but,beingovercome with sleep, he only


HIS WIFE'S ANXIETY. 31winked like an owl once ortwice, and then, closing hiseyes, fell back on the pillow.At that moment all the littlepigs gave a squeal that mighthave been heard two miles off.Then old Mrs. Slipper-slopper jumped out of bed,And out of the window she popped her head,-"John, John, John, the gray goose is gone,And the fox is off to his den, 0 !"John did not require a secondbidding, for the noise that camethrough the window, the mo-ment it was opened, wakenedhim up completely. With one


32 THE FARMER IS ACTIVE.bound he wason the floor;with another hewas at the win-dow, where hisH --B- -S -- 2 -MRS. SLIPPER-SLOPPER IS ANGRY.


HIS WIFE ENERGETIC. 33wife leaned so far out that it wasquite a wonder she did not fallover. She flourished a candlein her right hand, and shookher fist at the flying fox; whileher eyes sparkled and hercheeks flushed with anger. Thecandle was of little use indeed,for, in her rage, she struck itagainst the window-sill, whichput it out, broke it across themiddle, and sent the snufferstumbling down into the garden.But this did not matter, forthere was no need of a candlewhile the moon was shiningbrightly in the sky, and laugh-(420) 3


34 THE WIFE GETS DESPERATE.ing at Mrs. Slipper-slopper tillit nearly cried.As for poor John, he coulddo nothing but gaze with amaze-ment at the impudent fox, whichcould be clearly seen, gallopingover the fields, with the graygoose in its mouth, and theblack duck across its back.In a few minutes Mrs. Slipper-slopper bounced back into theroom, and in doing so gaveJohn a punch on the breast thatcaused him to trip over a chairand fall headlong to the floor."Mydear Mary-" said John." Dear Mary !" cried the old


"THE MORE HURRY THE LESS SPEED." 35woman, " don't dear me Deargoose and duck, indeed! Getup, quick, and run after them!Do you hear ?"Now, John said nothing, buthe thought that if his wife hadbeen less passionate and morepatient, it would have beenbetter for them both. All herrage did not stop the fox; butit was the cause of the snuffersbeing tossed over the window,of the candle being broken, andof John being tumbled on thefloor. Then, as the candle wasout, John lost some time infinding his breeches; and when


36 THE FARMER STARTS OFF.he did find them, old Mrs. Slip-per-slopper hurried him so thathe put them on the wrong wayand had to take them off again.At last the old lady lost allpatience, and would not allowJohn to put on anything more,except a pair of old slippers.Taking him by the shoulders,she thrust him out of the house,and, putting a hunting horn intoone hand and a broom into theother, bade him fly for his life.John instantly started off, and,as the fox was far away by thistime, he ran with right goodwill.


THE CHASE. 37Then John he went up to the hill,And he blew a blast both loud and shrill.Says the fox, "This is very pretty music--stillI'd rather be at my den, O!"And well might the fox sayso; for if anyone had seen John,with his braces, and the stringsof his breeches, and the end ofhis night-cap, flying in thewind,and the broom whirling roundhis head, he would have beenvery much inclined to run awayfrom him. The moon beinghigh up in the sky, and conse-quently out of all danger, wasgreatly amused at the sight,and laughed, and roared, andwagged its head in a most reck-


38 AN OLD RABBITless manner. The only othereyes that saw John, as he flewover the hill like a grayhound,were those of an old rabbitwhich lived in a hole at the topof the hill, and put out its headto see what could be the matter.This rabbit was extremely old,and had been a great-great-grandmother for many years.Moreover, it was very grave,and had been only known tolaugh once, and that was oneday when sixteen little rabbitswere playing and rolling overeach other on the hill-side, anda little dog bounced into the


IS VERY WISE. 39middle of them with a loudbark, which caused them to flyin a moment; and the last thatwas seen of them was sixteenlittle tails as they vanished intosixteen holes, and left the littledog looking very foolish in-deed! When this old rabbitsaw John scampering over thehill in such haste, it gave apeculiar smile, and shook itshead slowly."Ah me!" said the rabbit,"what strange creatures menare That stupid farmer is run-ning after a fox which he willnever catch, and the only thing


40 JOHN BEGINS TO PANT.he is sure to catch is a bad cold.Well, well; if it was for somegreat prize one would not won-der; but when it's only for agray goose and a black duck-ah !-" The rabbit could notfind words to express her feel-ings, so she laid her ears downflat and went to sleep.Meanwhile the fox got farahead of John, and John beganto pant for breath. Then bothof his slippers fell off; then thehead flew off the broom, andthe spectacles fell from his nose." Ho dear! " gasped John. Ashe said this the strings of his


THE CHASE ENDED ABRUPTLY. 41night-cap broke and it flew off.Then he dropped the horn; and,last of all, he tripped over astone, rolled like a tub downthe hill, and fell headlong intoa ditch, where his nose pokeda deep hole in the mud. Ofcourse it was of no use to chasethe fox any longer. Indeed,John could not run anotherstep, so he gathered himself upand returned slowly home toconsole his poor wife.At last the fox got home to his den;To his dear little foxes, eight, nine, ten,Says he, "You're in luck, here's a good fat duck,With her legs hanging dangling down, 0!"


42 THE FOXES' DEN."Hooray!" shouted a fatMISTER FOX AND HIS JOYFUL FAMILY.little fox, dancing on one legbefore the gray goose.


DELIGHT OF THE LITTLE FOXES. 43"Hooray!" screamed anotherlittle fox, leaping on to itsmother's side, and extending itspaws towards it." First-rate! " cried a third;"here's a back to anybody thatwants one." Capital! Oh we shall feastlike princes! " shouted anotherlittle fox joyfully. "Hold yourhead down and shoulders up;that's it," and, with a race anda squeal, it went leap-frog overits brother's back and landedbeside the black duck, whichwas being almost torn in piecesby two other little foxes, one


44 GREAT REJOICINGS.of which grasped it by the leg,while the other seized it by theneck. The noise in the foxes'den was quite tremendous,-atleast so said the moon. The twobaby foxes were the only quietones among them, being fastasleep in their mother's arms." Ah! my dear husband,"said Madam Fox, "how goodof you to fetch us such a nicesupper."" Ho ho " chuckled MisterFox, " isn't it a rare one, love ?and won't we have a right goodfeast, eh ? I took them bothfrom Farmer Slipper-slopper."


FOXES' OPINIONS ABOUT STEALING. 45"Papa," said one of the littlefoxes, in a voice so grave thatall the others stopped to listen ;"papa, when you take what isnot yours, is not that stealing ?""Yes, my dear clever littlefoxy-it is.""And isn't it very wrong tosteal ?""What a wise little dear itis! Yes, my son, it is wrongfor men, and women, and chil-dren to steal, very wrong in-deed; but it is not wrong forfoxes to do so."All the little foxes staredin silent surprise; then they


46 FOXES' OPINIONS ABOUT STEALING.winked at each other, and,bursting into a loud laugh,sprang up, and rolled, leaped,tumbled, wriggled their tails,and whisked about with shrieksof delight, so that it seemed asif there were at least fifty littlefoxes there instead of ten.-Suddenly they all stopped!"I say, papa," cried one,"may we all steal, then ?"" Yes,mychildren, you may."" And are you quite sure andcertain that it would be verynaughty in little boys and girlsto steal ?"" Quite sure, my dears, and


THE SUPPER. 47certain." Again a yell of de-light filled the cavern, and thelittle foxes danced and twirleduntil their father, with a loudvoice, bade them be quiet andprepare for supper.He then sat down with his hungry wife;They did very well without fork or knife;They never ate a better goose in all their life,And the little ones picked the bones, O !No doubt supper is an excel-lent thing if one does not eattoo much of it. Some people,indeed, think that it is better toeat no supper; but these foxes


48 THE SUPPER.did not think so; and, from theway in which they enjoyed it," THE LITTLE ONES PICK THE BONES, 0 !no doubt it did them muchgood. They had neither knives,nor forks, nor spoons. In fact,


CLEANLINESS. 49they had nothing but theirteeth and claws, which, how-ever, served very well to tearthe goose and duck in pieces.They had no napkins to wipetheir paws on, so they usedtheir tails instead. This wasrather a curious thing to do;but it showed a desire to haveclean paws, which was veryproper, for dirty paws are ex-tremely disagreeable, and soare dirty hands.Now, while Mister and Mad-am Fox were eating, the littleones sat round in a circle, wait-ing till their parents should(420) 4


50 TEMPTATION.have finished, that they mightget the bones to pick. But onevery little, very round, white,and fat fox, kept staring eagerlyat a leg of the goose till itcould not resist the temptation;so it snatched up the leg andran away. Instantly all theothers flew round the cave afterit, tumbled over it in confusion,and brought it back, sobbing,with the leg in its mouth andtears in its eyes. The legwas taken from it, and MadamFox said, "Now, my dears,learn this lesson,-when youare not to have a thing, don't


PENITENCE. 51look at it too eagerly." Sosaying, she gave the little fatfox a bump on the nose, andwent on with her supper. Whenthey had finished the goose, thebones were given to the littlefoxes, who ate them all up in avery short time. The little fatwhite one could not begin tillit had begged pardon of itsmother for being bad; but, afterthat, it felt so much happierthat it ate with a double ap-petite, and stuffed itself to suchan extent that it became almostas broad as it was long.Now, the bad example of


52 BAD EXAMPLE FOLLOWED.impatience shown by the verylittle round white and fat fox,was soon followed by one ofits brothers. This brother wasa little round black fox. Thevery little round white fox wasa sister. The eyes of the littlewhite sister were scarcely dry,when the little black brotherset his heart on the liver of theblack duck."It does look so nice," hewhispered to himself, "and Ishould like so much to have it."For some time after this thelittle round black fox sat look-ing hard at the liver. At last


STEALING IS NAUGHTY. 53he whispered to his eldestbrother,-"Don't you think I mightsteal it ?""Oh no, that would benaughty," replied the eldestbrother."But papa said it was rightto steal," replied the little blackfox."Ah, but papa meant thatit was right to steal from men,you know, not from each other.It is quite right for foxes tosteal from men, because, dearbrother, it is our nature to doso."


54 WISE REASONING.The eldest brother lookedvery wise when he said this,and the little round black foxlooked very wise too."But," continued the eldestbrother, "the children of mennever steal from each other-at least they never ought to doso, and it is very naughty ofthem when they do-therefore,you see, foxes should never stealfrom each other, for it wouldnot do for foxes to be naughtierthan men-would it ?"" No, I suppose not," re-plied the little black fox witha.sigh.


EFFECT OF LOOKING. 55"Well, then, don't steal theliver," said the eldest brother,"for that would be naughty;besides, if you did, papa wouldwallop you.""Well, I won't," answeredthe little black fox with anothersigh; "but I do wish I hadsome of it."After that he tried very muchnot to think of the liver anymore, but, for all that, he con-tinued to look very hard at it,and at last could not resist thedesire to make a dash at it;he caught it in his mouth, andrushed out of the cave pursued


56 THE LITTLE THIEF.by his father and all his brothersand sisters."Stop thief!" cried MisterFox."Stop thief!" shouted allthe little ones.But the thief was disobedient.He would not stop until hecame to a high stone wall, whichstopped him whether he wouldor not.Mister Fox caught him bythe nape of the neck, and car-ried him back to the den. Sup-per was stopped, and the littleround black fox was put uponhis trial.


THE THIEF CAUGHT. 57"You have been naughty,"said Mister Fox in a very sternvoice."Yes," whimpered the littlethief."What do you deserve?"demanded Mister Fox."Nothin'!" replied the littleone, trembling very much."Yes, you do; you deservepunishment," said his father."Oh dear! " cried the littlethief; and all the brothers andsisters hung down their headsand sighed so deeply, that thesound went up like a breeze ofwind into the roof of the cave.


58 THE PUNISHMENT." What shall be done tohim ?" asked Mister Fox, look-ing round upon his family.No one spoke for a fewminutes, but at last the verylittle round white fox venturedto say in a low pitiful voice,-" Oh, do let him off.""Let him off!" exclaimedMister Fox, sternly; "no, thatmust not be; he has beennaughty-he must be punished,and the punishment shall be-no liver for supper!"These last words were saidvery solemnly, and all the littlefoxes felt in a very dreadful


SUPPER CONTINUED. 59frame of mind indeed, so dread-ful that they could not eat forfull five minutes afterwards.But they soon recovered theirspirits and their appetites, andin ten minutes after that wereas busy with the bones as ifnothing had happened to dis-turb them.When supper was nearly over,Mister Fox took up the liverof the black duck and cut itinto eleven pieces. There wasa great silence while he wasdoing this, because the littlefoxes wondered what he wasgoing to do.


60 PUNISHMENT APPLIED.When the liver was all cutup, he gave a piece to MadamFox, then took a piece to him-self, and after that gave a littlepiece to all the little foxes ex-cept the little round black one.Poor thing! its heart sank,and it felt very miserable. Italso wept a little, but saidnothing, because it knew thatit deserved to be punished.However, it had as many bonesas it chose to eat, so that itmade a very good supper, eventhough it got no liver, and ina short time began to feel lessmiserable.


A GAME PROPOSED. 61After supper, Mister Fox said,rubbing his hands, "Now for aromp, children, before we goto bed. What game shall itbe ?""Leap-frog! " said one."Blind-fox-buff!" cried an-other."No-man-hunting!" shout-ed two or three at once.As most of the little foxeswanted man-hunting, it was de-cided that that should be thegame, and Mister Fox himselfoffered to be the man who wasto be hunted." Now, look here," cried


62 THE GAME PLANNED.Mister Fox, placing a large boxat one side of the cave, "thisis the man's hole. He liveshere with his wife and family,and calls it his house. Ha, ha!the foolish fellow, he doesn'tknow the pleasure of living ina splendid cave like this-but,no matter. This is his house,and I, being the man, will tryto run to this house, while you,being the hunters, will run afterme, and try to catch me beforeI reach it. That," continuedMister Fox, pointing to a holein the floor, "is a pond; re-member you must all go round


THE LITTLE FOX IS STUPID. 63this pond, because, you know,you couldn't jump over it-""Oh! yes, I could," cried thelittle round white fox-" seehere."And, saying this, she jumpedright over the hole."Oh! stupid thing," saidMister Fox, laughing, "youmust pretend that it is a pond,and that you can't jump overit, and so must go round it.Any one who jumps over itshall have his nose pulled.Well, then, that log in thecorner is a river, you may alljump over that; and your dear


64 STUPID AGAIN.mother is a five-barred gate;you must jump over her, babiesand all, without touching them.Mind, whoever touches a singlehair of them shall have his tailpulled. That big stone on thefloor is a hedge; you may jumpit or go through a gap in it,whichever you choose.""But please, papa," said thelittle round white fox, " thereis no gap in it to go through.""But you can pretend thatthere is, and go round the stone,can't you, stupid ?" said MisterFox. "Now, come, are you allready ?"


THE START. 65"Ready! " replied the littlefoxes, drawing up in a line andwhisking their tails." Away, then! Hooroo! Bow-wow! Tally-ho! " cried MisterFox; and off he went at fullgallop round the cave, followedby all the little foxes in wildexcitement, while Madam Foxlooked on, pressed one baby-fox to her heart, and the otherbaby-fox to whatever happenedto be on the right side of herbreast, and smiled lovingly.It was a tremendous chase!No human huntsmen that everlived could have made more(420) 5


66 THE CHASE.noise or done such wonder-ful deeds. They crossed thecountry like the wind. Roundand round the cave they went,and across and along and roundagain. Over hedges and ditches,and roads and bridges, and wallsand rivers, and five-barred gates,they jumped and tumbled inpursuit of the man, who ledthem a terrible race before hemade for his hole." One for you! " cried MisterFox, pointing with his tail tothe little round white fox; "youjumped the pond! And one foryou," he added, pointing to the


ACCIDENTS. 67little round black fox; "youtouched the upper bar of thegate.""No, I didn't," gasped thelittle black fox."You did; look at the topof your mother's head."" There goes the middle bar,"cried Madam Fox, as one of herchildren knocked the smallestbaby out of her arms.The baby cried, and at thesame moment one of the hunts-men fell into the pond by acci-dent; another huntsman forgotto jump over the river; and thenoise waxed so furious that the


68 FORFEITS.man thought it high time tojump into his house, and thusput an end to the chase. Theforfeits then came to be paid.The little round white and blackfoxes, being the youngest, werecalled up first. The one hadhis tail pulled for touching thetop of the five-barred gate, andthe other had her nose pulledfor jumping over the pond.Then the foxes who made othermistakes were called up, andtheir cases were examined.Now, while this was goingon, the little round white foxpulled her little black brother


THE LITTLE FOX AGAIN. 69by the sleeve, and whisperedthat she wanted him to go outwith her. So they went out-side to a quiet grove and satdown." I'm so sorry," said the littlewhite fox, " that you and I hadto be punished to-night. Itwas such a painful bump thatmamma gave me on the nose;and then you must have sufferedso much by not getting some ofthe liver-it was so nice.""Oh, never mind," said thelittle black fox, "I don't caremuch, and it can't be helpednow."


70 HER KINDNESS."Oh yes, but it can," repliedthe white sister, holding up oneof her paws; " see, I have keptthe half of my bit of liver onpurpose. Come, eat it up quick,and that will cure you; and thenkiss me on the nose, and thatwill cure me.""Capital! " exclaimed theblack brother, as he snappedup the piece of liver; "you're adear little jolly muff, as thesehuman creatures say. There!"Saying which he kissed hissister on the nose, and then,being thus made quite happy,they returned home arm in arm.


CONSEQUENT FELICITY. 71The evening being now plea-santly brought to a close, thewhole family lay down on afeather bed at one end of theden, and fell sound asleep. Themoon, with a grave smile on herround face, retired behind acloud and went out. A thickmist then settled down uponthe country, and Mister Foxand Madam Fox and the tenlittle foxes were never heard ofmore.


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18 SLINESS OF MR. FOX. you, my dear creatures ?" said the fox, with a quiet smile, as he came up to the yard, and rested his fore-feet on the paling quite close to the big sow. As the fox spoke and begged them to make less noise, one of the little pigs ran forward, and, sitting down on its haunches, just under the fox's nose, looked up, and said, in a quick, sharp voice, "Squee-e-k! Then it paused a little, drew a long breath, and cried, passionately, Squee-e-e-e-e-eal Go away, bad fox; go, nobody wants you here ; squeal! -get along ;



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66 THE CHASE. noise or done such wonderful deeds. They crossed the country like the wind. Round and round the cave they went, and across and along and round again. Over hedges and ditches, and roads and bridges, and walls and rivers, and five-barred gates, they jumped and tumbled in pursuit of the man, who led them a terrible race before he made for his hole. One for you! cried Mister Fox, pointing with his tail to the little round white fox; "you jumped the pond! And one for you," he added, pointing to the



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THE ANGRY LITTLE PIG. 19 squeak!-go, I say, go away, eek! squeal!" "Very pretty indeed," said the fox, with a savage smile; "very sweet voice, but a little, just a leetle too-" "Sque-e-e-e-eal! "interrupted the pig. "My dear child," said the fox, let me speak-" Squeal! "Onlylistenfor a-" "Squeak!" "Pray do wait till I have-" "Squeal!" My dear pig, just a-" Sque-e-e-e-eek! !" The fox could bear this no longer. With one bound he leaped the fence. The next



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62 THE GAME PLANNED. Mister Fox, placing a large box at one side of the cave, "this is the man's hole. He lives here with his wife and family, and calls it his house. Ha, ha! the foolish fellow, he doesn't know the pleasure of living in a splendid cave like this-but, no matter. This is his house, and I, being the man, will try to run to this house, while you, being the hunters, will run after me, and try to catch me before I reach it. That," continued Mister Fox, pointing to a hole in the floor, "is a pond; remember you must all go round



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16 TERROR IN THE YARD. was not very, very frightened." Squeal! grunt! oh! squeee-e-e-e-e-eek! there he comes again, mother, oh dear! squeeleek!" cried a little pig, the moment it caught sight of the fox. The big sow gave a low grunt. "Hold your squeak, sillything," she said; "what are you afraid of? Is your mother not big and fat enough to protect you ?" Co-co-co-coo! quiet, you monster," cried the hen angrily, you'll waken up all my chickens if you make such a-" At (420)



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THE POOR GRAY GOOSE. 21 such a terr .rible blow on the snout with her wing that it THE GRAY GOOSE IS KILLED. nearly blinded him, and obliged



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50 TEMPTATION. have finished, that they might get the bones to pick. But one very little, very round, white, and fat fox, kept staring eagerly at a leg of the goose till it could not resist the temptation; so it snatched up the leg and ran away. Instantly all the others flew round the cave after it, tumbled over it in confusion, and brought it back, sobbing, with the leg in its mouth and tears in its eyes. The leg was taken from it, and Madam Fox said, "Now, my dears, learn this lesson,-when you are not to have a thing, don't



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MISTER FOX. A fox went out in a hungry plight, And he begged of the moon to give him light, For he'd many miles to trot that night Before he could reach his den, 0! "F , you bad, naughty, longtailed creature, I will not give .you a single beam of light." The moon said this with a good deal of anger in its tone, and immediately became very



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MISTER FOX. DUET FOR CHILDREN. A Moderato. FIRST VOICM A Foxwentout in a hun-gry plight, And he VOICE. begg'd of the moon to give him light, For he'd ma-ny miles to trot that night, Be -fore he could reach his den, 0! I, =7,,-L r --



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WHAT THE GRAY GOOSE SAID. 15 dropping off into a comfo rtable dose. I declare I would be very, very angry if I HE DISTURBS THE FARMYARD.



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30 THE FARMER'S ALARM. "Sno-o-o-o-re !"replied John. "John! I say," quoth the wife, giving his hair such a pull that he sprang up with a loud roar. Eh ? what ? where ? oh, let go dear me what is it ?" exclaimed John. "What is it, indeed!" retorted the wife. "There are you, sleeping and snoring like a lazy fellow, while there is mischief going on in the yard! Listen!" John turned his ear to the windowand listened; but,being overcome with sleep, he only



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THE LITTLE FOX AGAIN. 69 by the sleeve, and whispered that she wanted him to go out with her. So they went outside to a quiet grove and sat down. I'm so sorry," said the little white fox, that you and I had to be punished to-night. It was such a painful bump that mamma gave me on the nose; and then you must have suffered so much by not getting some of the liver-it was so nice." "Oh, never mind," said the little black fox, "I don't care much, and it can't be helped now."



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22 THE HEN'S ALARM. him to sit down for a few seconds to wipe his eyes with his tail. While the fox was thus engaged, the hen ran into a corner, where her chickens gathered round her and said, "Quee! quee quee! oh, dear me! chikalum-kee! what's to be done, mother ? where shall we go?" The poor hen was terribly frightened; but she endeavoured to look calm, and said, "Do not fear, my little ones. Keep under my wings, and if Mister Fox comes, I will try to



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FOXES' OPINIONS ABOUT STEALING. 45 "Papa," said one of the little foxes, in a voice so grave that all the others stopped to listen ; "papa, when you take what is not yours, is not that stealing ?" "Yes, my dear clever little foxy-it is." "And isn't it very wrong to steal ?" "What a wise little dear it is! Yes, my son, it is wrong for men, and women, and children to steal, very wrong indeed; but it is not wrong for foxes to do so." All the little foxes stared in silent surprise; then they



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HIS FAMILY. 11 its head and said, Oh! you've got a family, have you ? "Yes, indeed," replied the MISTER FOX BEGS OF THE MOON TO GIVE HIM LIGHT. fox, with a sigh, "I've got a wife and ten little ones at home; and very hungry they all are,





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HIS WIFE ENERGETIC. 33 wife leaned so far out that it was quite a wonder she did not fall over. She flourished a candle in her right hand, and shook her fist at the flying fox; while her eyes sparkled and her cheeks flushed with anger. The candle was of little use indeed, for, in her rage, she struck it against the window-sill, which put it out, broke it across the middle, and sent the snuffers tumbling down into the garden. But this did not matter, for there was no need of a candle while the moon was shining brightly in the sky, and laugh(420) 3



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6 MISTER FOX. den, 0! den, 0! For he'd ma-nymiles to -ft,hatni -----e -42 4Lr-trot that night, Be -fore he could reach his den, 0! rr^



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MISTER FOX. A FOx went out in a hungry plight, And he begged of the moon to give him light, For he'd many miles to trot that night Before he could reach his den, O And first he came to a farmer's yard, Where the ducks and geese declared it hard That their nerves should be shaken and their rest be marred, By the visit of Mister Fox, 0! He took the gray goose by the sleeve; Says he, "Madam Goose, and by your leave, I'll take you away without reprieve, And carry you home to my den, 0 !" I II aeyuaa ihu eree



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34 THE WIFE GETS DESPERATE. ing at Mrs. Slipper-slopper till it nearly cried. As for poor John, he could do nothing but gaze with amazement at the impudent fox, which could be clearly seen, galloping over the fields, with the gray goose in its mouth, and the black duck across its back. In a few minutes Mrs. Slipperslopper bounced back into the room, and in doing so gave John a punch on the breast that caused him to trip over a chair and fall headlong to the floor. "Mydear Mary-" said John. Dear Mary !" cried the old



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THE START. 65 "Ready! replied the little foxes, drawing up in a line and whisking their tails. Away, then! Hooroo! Bowwow! Tally-ho! cried Mister Fox; and off he went at full gallop round the cave, followed by all the little foxes in wild excitement, while Madam Fox looked on, pressed one babyfox to her heart, and the other baby-fox to whatever happened to be on the right side of her breast, and smiled lovingly. It was a tremendous chase! No human huntsmen that ever lived could have made more (420) 5



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42 THE FOXES' DEN. "Hooray!" shouted a fat MISTER FOX AND HIS JOYFUL FAMILY. little fox, dancing on one leg before the gray goose.



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44 GREAT REJOICINGS. of which grasped it by the leg, while the other seized it by the neck. The noise in the foxes' den was quite tremendous,-at least so said the moon. The two baby foxes were the only quiet ones among them, being fast asleep in their mother's arms. Ah! my dear husband," said Madam Fox, "how good of you to fetch us such a nice supper." Ho ho chuckled Mister Fox, isn't it a rare one, love ? and won't we have a right good feast, eh ? I took them both from Farmer Slipper-slopper."



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SHE COMFORTS THE CHICKENS. 23 defend you. Even if he does kill me, I think he will spare you." On hearing this the chicks were comforted, and nestled under their mother's soft wings. Meanwhile the fat sow stood gasping in another corner of the yard, to which she had fled, followed by her little pigs. "What shall we do?" said one little pig, with a mournful squeak. "Ah! yes; what shall we do ?" said another little pig, with a subdued yell. "Do!" cried the little pig



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EFFECT OF LOOKING. 55 "Well, then, don't steal the liver," said the eldest brother, "for that would be naughty; besides, if you did, papa would wallop you." "Well, I won't," answered the little black fox with another sigh; "but I do wish I had some of it." After that he tried very much not to think of the liver any more, but, for all that, he continued to look very hard at it, and at last could not resist the desire to make a dash at it; he caught it in his mouth, and rushed out of the cave pursued



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SUPPER CONTINUED. 59 frame of mind indeed, so dreadful that they could not eat for full five minutes afterwards. But they soon recovered their spirits and their appetites, and in ten minutes after that were as busy with the bones as if nothing had happened to disturb them. When supper was nearly over, Mister Fox took up the liver of the black duck and cut it into eleven pieces. There was a great silence while he was doing this, because the little foxes wondered what he was going to do.



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40 JOHN BEGINS TO PANT. he is sure to catch is a bad cold. Well, well; if it was for some great prize one would not wonder; but when it's only for a gray goose and a black duckah !-" The rabbit could not find words to express her feelings, so she laid her ears down flat and went to sleep. Meanwhile the fox got far ahead of John, and John began to pant for breath. Then both of his slippers fell off; then the head flew off the broom, and the spectacles fell from his nose. Ho dear! gasped John. As he said this the strings of his



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CLEANLINESS. 49 they had nothing but their teeth and claws, which, however, served very well to tear the goose and duck in pieces. They had no napkins to wipe their paws on, so they used their tails instead. This was rather a curious thing to do; but it showed a desire to have clean paws, which was very proper, for dirty paws are extremely disagreeable, and so are dirty hands. Now, while Mister and Madam Fox were eating, the little ones sat round in a circle, waiting till their parents should (420) 4



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46 FOXES' OPINIONS ABOUT STEALING. winked at each other, and, bursting into a loud laugh, sprang up, and rolled, leaped, tumbled, wriggled their tails, and whisked about with shrieks of delight, so that it seemed as if there were at least fifty little foxes there instead of ten.Suddenly they all stopped! "I say, papa," cried one, "may we all steal, then ?" Yes,mychildren, you may." And are you quite sure and certain that it would be very naughty in little boys and girls to steal ?" Quite sure, my dears, and



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"20 THE ATTACK ON moment the ducks, and geese, and pigs, and hens, and chickens, were flying in all directions and screaming with terror. He took the gray goose by the sleeve; Says he, Madam Goose, and by your leave, I'll take you away without reprieve, And carry you home to my den, 0!" And, saying this, he seized the poor goose by the thick feathers on her white breast, and gave her a dreadful shake. But the goose was a strong bird. She tore her sleeve out of the fox's grasp, and gave him



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THE BLACK DUCK IS NOISY. 27 fast and so loud that you would have thought she wished to do ,, C MISTER FOX RUNS OFF WITH HIS SUPPER. as much quacking as possible before she died. This made the other birds and beasts in



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THE CHASE. 37 Then John he went up to the hill, And he blew a blast both loud and shrill. Says the fox, "This is very pretty music--still I'd rather be at my den, O!" And well might the fox say so; for if anyone had seen John, with his braces, and the strings of his breeches, and the end of his night-cap, flying in thewind, and the broom whirling round his head, he would have been very much inclined to run away from him. The moon being high up in the sky, and consequently out of all danger, was greatly amused at the sight, and laughed, and roared, and wagged its head in a most reck-



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36 THE FARMER STARTS OFF. he did find them, old Mrs. Slipper-slopper hurried him so that he put them on the wrong way and had to take them off again. At last the old lady lost all patience, and would not allow John to put on anything more, except a pair of old slippers. Taking him by the shoulders, she thrust him out of the house, and, putting a hunting horn into one hand and a broom into the other, bade him fly for his life. John instantly started off, and, as the fox was far away by this time, he ran with right good will.



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WILD BEHAVIOUR OF THE CHICKS. 17 this instant the fox sneaked up to the yard, and the chickens started up all at once so violently that they nearly tossed their mother on her back. Then they rushed out and opened their eyes in astonishment. But no sooner did they see the fox than they uttered one loud "quee-quee-quee-cochickalum-doo turned round, and fled under their mother's wings again; for these wise chickens knew that there was no place of safety equal to their own dear mother's bosom. ":Why, what's the matter with (420) 2



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70 HER KINDNESS. "Oh yes, but it can," replied the white sister, holding up one of her paws; see, I have kept the half of my bit of liver on purpose. Come, eat it up quick, and that will cure you; and then kiss me on the nose, and that will cure me." "Capital! exclaimed the black brother, as he snapped up the piece of liver; "you're a dear little jolly muff, as these human creatures say. There!" Saying which he kissed his sister on the nose, and then, being thus made quite happy, they returned home arm in arm.



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CONSEQUENT FELICITY. 71 The evening being now pleasantly brought to a close, the whole family lay down on a feather bed at one end of the den, and fell sound asleep. The moon, with a grave smile on her round face, retired behind a cloud and went out. A thick mist then settled down upon the country, and Mister Fox and Madam Fox and the ten little foxes were never heard of more.



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48 THE SUPPER. did not think so; and, from the way in which they enjoyed it, THE LITTLE ONES PICK THE BONES, 0 no doubt it did them much good. They had neither knives, nor forks, nor spoons. In fact,



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38 AN OLD RABBIT less manner. The only other eyes that saw John, as he flew over the hill like a grayhound, were those of an old rabbit which lived in a hole at the top of the hill, and put out its head to see what could be the matter. This rabbit was extremely old, and had been a great-greatgrandmother for many years. Moreover, it was very grave, and had been only known to laugh once, and that was one day when sixteen little rabbits were playing and rolling over each other on the hill-side, and a little dog bounced into the



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DEATH OF THE BLACK DUCK. 29 for the fox caught her by the neck and shut up her mouth for ever. In short, he killed her! Then,picking up the graygoose, which he had let fall, he galloped away again. But the cocks, and the hens, and the ducks, and the geese, and the pigs in the yard continued to crow, and scream, and yell, and squeal so loudly, that the noise at last awoke old Mrs. Slipperslopper, the farmer's wife, who sat up in bed to listen. "John! John !" she said, grasping her husband by the head and shaking it.



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MISTER FOX. BY R. M. BALLANTYNE, AUTHOR OF "THE THREE LITTLE KITTENS," "MEE-A-OW," ETC. ETC. A story I tell of all that befell A sly old fox in his den,How he and his wffe led a pilfering life, And his little ones, eight, nine, ten, lrtonbon: T. NELSON AND SONS, PATERNOSTER ROW. EDINBURGH; AND NEW YORK. 1881.



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STEALING IS NAUGHTY. 53 he whispered to his eldest brother,"Don't you think I might steal it ?" "Oh no, that would be naughty," replied the eldest brother. "But papa said it was right to steal," replied the little black fox. "Ah, but papa meant that it was right to steal from men, you know, not from each other. It is quite right for foxes to steal from men, because, dear brother, it is our nature to do so."



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60 PUNISHMENT APPLIED. When the liver was all cut up, he gave a piece to Madam Fox, then took a piece to himself, and after that gave a little piece to all the little foxes except the little round black one. Poor thing! its heart sank, and it felt very miserable. It also wept a little, but said nothing, because it knew that it deserved to be punished. However, it had as many bones as it chose to eat, so that it made a very good supper, even though it got no liver, and in a short time began to feel less miserable.





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28 GREAT NOISE. the farmer's yard very sad, and they all began to howl and scream so loudly that the fox thought the whole country-side would be roused out of their beds to give him chase, and once or twice he thought of dropping his burden; but, when he thought of the hungry little foxes in his den, he resolved to do his best to carry home their supper. Hold your noisy tongue, will you ?" he said to the duck, in a voice of rage. "Quack! qua-a-a-a-ack!" The duck stopped rather suddenly,



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12 MR. FOX'S COMPLAINT. for I have had an attack of an old complaint, which laid me up for the last three days, so that I have not been able to go out a-hunting. The moon's angry face became a little milder when it thought of the hungry little foxes, so it threw some more light over the country, and said"An old complaint, eh? what was it, Mister Fox ?" "I believe that it is called 'laziness' by men; but Madam Fox and I call it 'lassitude.'" "Hum! never heard of it



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52 BAD EXAMPLE FOLLOWED. impatience shown by the very little round white and fat fox, was soon followed by one of its brothers. This brother was a little round black fox. The very little round white fox was a sister. The eyes of the little white sister were scarcely dry, when the little black brother set his heart on the liver of the black duck. "It does look so nice," he whispered to himself, "and I should like so much to have it." For some time after this the little round black fox sat looking hard at the liver. At last



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"THE MORE HURRY THE LESS SPEED." 35 woman, don't dear me Dear goose and duck, indeed! Get up, quick, and run after them! Do you hear ?" Now, John said nothing, but he thought that if his wife had been less passionate and more patient, it would have been better for them both. All her rage did not stop the fox; but it was the cause of the snuffers being tossed over the window, of the candle being broken, and of John being tumbled on the floor. Then, as the candle was out, John lost some time in finding his breeches; and when



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THE MOON IS KIND. 13 before," said the moon. Very bad complaint, I suppose, eh?" Oh, shocking! replied the fox. "Well, then, get along with you," said the moon, throwing a flood of light over the whole country, "and see that you don't do more mischief than you can help. You're too fond of mischief, Mister Fox. Indeed, I have often said I would be glad to see you hanged. But I have a feeling of pity for your hungry little ones; so get along, and I'll show you a light."



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32 THE FARMER IS ACTIVE. bound he was on the floor; with another he was at the window, where his H --B-S --2 MRS. SLIPPER-SLOPPER IS ANGRY.



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58 THE PUNISHMENT. What shall be done to him ?" asked Mister Fox, looking round upon his family. No one spoke for a few minutes, but at last the very little round white fox ventured to say in a low pitiful voice," Oh, do let him off." "Let him off!" exclaimed Mister Fox, sternly; "no, that must not be; he has been naughty-he must be punished, and the punishment shall beno liver for supper!" These last words were said very solemnly, and all the little foxes felt in a very dreadful



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IS VERY WISE. 39 middle of them with a loud bark, which caused them to fly in a moment; and the last that was seen of them was sixteen little tails as they vanished into sixteen holes, and left the little dog looking very foolish indeed! When this old rabbit saw John scampering over the hill in such haste, it gave a peculiar smile, and shook its head slowly. "Ah me!" said the rabbit, "what strange creatures men are That stupid farmer is running after a fox which he will never catch, and the only thing



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THE THIEF CAUGHT. 57 "You have been naughty," said Mister Fox in a very stern voice. "Yes," whimpered the little thief. "What do you deserve?" demanded Mister Fox. "Nothin'!" replied the little one, trembling very much. "Yes, you do; you deserve punishment," said his father. "Oh dear! cried the little thief; and all the brothers and sisters hung down their heads and sighed so deeply, that the sound went up like a breeze of wind into the roof of the cave.



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THE CHASE ENDED ABRUPTLY. 41 night-cap broke and it flew off. Then he dropped the horn; and, last of all, he tripped over a stone, rolled like a tub down the hill, and fell headlong into a ditch, where his nose poked a deep hole in the mud. Of course it was of no use to chase the fox any longer. Indeed, John could not run another step, so he gathered himself up and returned slowly home to console his poor wife. At last the fox got home to his den; To his dear little foxes, eight, nine, ten, Says he, "You're in luck, here's a good fat duck, With her legs hanging dangling down, 0!"





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ACCIDENTS. 67 little round black fox; "you touched the upper bar of the gate." "No, I didn't," gasped the little black fox. "You did; look at the top of your mother's head." There goes the middle bar," cried Madam Fox, as one of her children knocked the smallest baby out of her arms. The baby cried, and at the same moment one of the huntsmen fell into the pond by accident; another huntsman forgot to jump over the river; and the noise waxed so furious that the



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DELIGHT OF THE LITTLE FOXES. 43 "Hooray!" screamed another little fox, leaping on to its mother's side, and extending its paws towards it. First-rate! cried a third; "here's a back to anybody that wants one. Capital! Oh we shall feast like princes! shouted another little fox joyfully. "Hold your head down and shoulders up; that's it," and, with a race and a squeal, it went leap-frog over its brother's back and landed beside the black duck, which was being almost torn in pieces by two other little foxes, one



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64 STUPID AGAIN. mother is a five-barred gate; you must jump over her, babies and all, without touching them. Mind, whoever touches a single hair of them shall have his tail pulled. That big stone on the floor is a hedge; you may jump it or go through a gap in it, whichever you choose." "But please, papa," said the little round white fox, there is no gap in it to go through." "But you can pretend that there is, and go round the stone, can't you, stupid ?" said Mister Fox. "Now, come, are you all ready ?"



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A GAME PROPOSED. 61 After supper, Mister Fox said, rubbing his hands, "Now for a romp, children, before we go to bed. What game shall it be ?" "Leap-frog! said one. "Blind-fox-buff!" cried another. "No-man-hunting!" shouted two or three at once. As most of the little foxes wanted man-hunting, it was decided that that should be the game, and Mister Fox himself offered to be the man who was to be hunted. Now, look here," cried



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68 FORFEITS. man thought it high time to jump into his house, and thus put an end to the chase. The forfeits then came to be paid. The little round white and black foxes, being the youngest, were called up first. The one had his tail pulled for touching the top of the five-barred gate, and the other had her nose pulled for jumping over the pond. Then the foxes who made other mistakes were called up, and their cases were examined. Now, while this was going on, the little round white fox pulled her little black brother



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26 THE MOON DISTRESSED. He seized the black duck by the neck, And swung her all across his back. The black duck cried out, "Quack! quack! quack!" With her legs hanging dangling down, O Having done this, Mister Fox then seized the gray goose in his mouth, sprang with them both over the paling, and ran away, to the amazement of the moon, who burst into tears, and said it had never shone upon such an impudent and wicked fox since the world began. Now, although the black duck was carried off with her legs hanging dangling down, 0! she was not dead, but continued to quack! quack! quack! so



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8 MISTER FOX. He seized the black duck by the neck, And swung her all across his back. Theblackduck cried out, "Quack! quack! quack!" With her legs hanging dangling down, O Then old Mrs. Slipper-slopper jumped out of bed, And out of the window she popped her head,"John, John, John, the gray goose is gone, And the fox is off to his den, !" Then John he went up to the hill, And he blew a blast both loud and shrill. Says the fox, "This is very pretty music--still I'd rather be at my den, O At last the fox got home to his den; To his dear little foxes, eight, nine, ten, Says he, "You're in luck, here's a good fat duck, With her legs hanging dangling down, 0!" He then sat down with his hungry wife; They did very well without fork or knife; They never ate a better goose in all their life, And the little ones picked the bones, O



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"14 THE FARMYARD. Thank you very much, dear moon," said the fox. Then, with a whisk of his bushy tail, he galloped far away over the hills, and fields, and meadows. And first he came to a farmer's yard, Where the ducks and geese declared it hard That their nerves should be shaken and their rest be marred, By the visit of Mister Fox, 0! It's too bad, yes, it is really too bad, that we should be so often disturbed by that naughty fox," said the gray goose to her sister. I was just



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THE LITTLE FOX IS STUPID. 63 this pond, because, you know, you couldn't jump over it-" "Oh! yes, I could," cried the little round white fox-" see here." And, saying this, she jumped right over the hole. "Oh! stupid thing," said Mister Fox, laughing, "you must pretend that it is a pond, and that you can't jump over it, and so must go round it. Any one who jumps over it shall have his nose pulled. Well, then, that log in the corner is a river, you may all jump over that; and your dear





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THE BLACK DUCK IS ANGRY. 25 and soon spied her hiding in a corner. Aha! Madam Goose, you are there, are you ? And by your leave I'll carry you off to my den, O whether you will or not." So saying, Mister Fox made another rush at the gray goose, caught her by the sleeve, and tossed her up in the air. Then, when she came down, he worried her to death. At sight of this the black duck became so enraged that she could not help quacking forth her anger. "Ho, ho! madam!" said the fox, I think I must take you too. So come along."



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THE CHASE



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10 MR. FOX IS PITIFUL. sulky, and stuffed its head behind a cloud. Ah! dear good moon," said the fox, looking up with a pitiful face, "pray do not abuse my poor tail. Now do, like a good old thing, take that cloud off your face and light up my path, for I have a long, long way to go to-night before I get home to my den. Besides, I have to pay a visit to one or two farmyards, in order to find a supper for myself and my family." The moment the moon heard of the fox's family it put out



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56 THE LITTLE THIEF. by his father and all his brothers and sisters. "Stop thief!" cried Mister Fox. "Stop thief!" shouted all the little ones. But the thief was disobedient. He would not stop until he came to a high stone wall, which stopped him whether he would or not. Mister Fox caught him by the nape of the neck, and carried him back to the den. Supper was stopped, and the little round black fox was put upon his trial.



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THE SUPPER. 47 certain." Again a yell of delight filled the cavern, and the little foxes danced and twirled until their father, with a loud voice, bade them be quiet and prepare for supper. He then sat down with his hungry wife; They did very well without fork or knife; They never ate a better goose in all their life, And the little ones picked the bones, O No doubt supper is an excellent thing if one does not eat too much of it. Some people, indeed, think that it is better to eat no supper; but these foxes



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'I ,i /



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24 THE LITTLE PIG'S ADVICE. who was so impudent to the fox when it first arrived. "I vote that we catch the fox and hang it, or stick it on the pitchfork; and nobody could do it better than yourself, mamma." The little pig uttered a passionate squeal, and wriggled his tail violently. But the old sow gave a grunt, and said that they who chose might catch the fox, but, for her part, she would have nothing to do with him. Now, when the fox recovered from the blow on the snout he looked about for the gray goose,



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HIS WIFE'S ANXIETY. 31 winked like an owl once or twice, and then, closing his eyes, fell back on the pillow. At that moment all the little pigs gave a squeal that might have been heard two miles off. Then old Mrs. Slipper-slopper jumped out of bed, And out of the window she popped her head,"John, John, John, the gray goose is gone, And the fox is off to his den, 0 !" John did not require a second bidding, for the noise that came through the window, the moment it was opened, wakened him up completely. With one



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PENITENCE. 51 look at it too eagerly." So saying, she gave the little fat fox a bump on the nose, and went on with her supper. When they had finished the goose, the bones were given to the little foxes, who ate them all up in a very short time. The little fat white one could not begin till it had begged pardon of its mother for being bad; but, after that, it felt so much happier that it ate with a double appetite, and stuffed itself to such an extent that it became almost as broad as it was long. Now, the bad example of



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54 WISE REASONING. The eldest brother looked very wise when he said this, and the little round black fox looked very wise too. "But," continued the eldest brother, "the children of men never steal from each otherat least they never ought to do so, and it is very naughty of them when they do-therefore, you see, foxes should never steal from each other, for it would not do for foxes to be naughtier than men-would it ?" No, I suppose not," replied the little black fox with a.sigh.