Wolf and Fox
Wolf held Red Fox in
Gray Wolf wished, Red Fox was compelled to do, as he was weaker.
would gladly be rid of his master.
It chanced that once as they were going through Forest, Gray Wolf said,
"Red Fox, get me something to eat, or I
will eat thee."
Red Fox answered, "I know a farm-yard where there
are two young lambs; if thou art inclined, we will fetch one of them."
Gray Wolf agreed, they went thither, and Red Fox stole
a little lamb.
Wolf devoured it! Not satisfied with one; he wanted another.
approach got the little lamb to bleat so Farmer came running.
found Gray Wolf and beat him mercilessly.
Gray Wolf went to Red Fox
limping and wimpering.
I went to fetch another lamb. Farmer surprised me
and beat me to a jelly."
Red Fox replied, "Why art thou such a glutton ?"
day they again went into the country, and the greedy Gray Wolf once more said,
"Red Fox, get me something to eat, or I will eat thee thyself."
Fox, "I know a baker where a Baker is baking pancakes."
Red Fox slipped
round the bakery, sniffed about until he discovered the dish, then drew down
six pancakes and carried them to Gray Wolf.
"Here is something for thee
to eat," said he to him.
Gray Wolf swallowed down the pancakes in an
instant, and said, "They make me want more," and went thither and tore the dish
down so that it broke in pieces.
This made such a great noise that the
Baker came out, saw Gray Wolf, called Farmer, who hurried there and they beat
him with long sticks, with two lame legs and howling loudly he finally reached
Red Fox in the forest.
"Thou misled me!" cried he, "Farmer and Baker beat me."
only replied half-heartedly, "Not so ! Why art thou such a glutton?"
the third day Gray Wolf limping along painfully said, "Red Fox, get me
something to eat, or I will eat thee thyself."
Red Fox answered, "I
know a Butcher who has been butchering, and the salted meat is lying in a
barrel in the cellar; we can get that."
Red Fox showed Gray Wolf the
byways, at length they reached the cellar.
There was fresh meat in
Gray Wolf thoughy, "There is
plenty of time before I need leave off!"
Red Fox judiciously began feeding while remaining alert.
Red Fox ran to the hole by which they had entered, darting in and out checking
that his body was still thin enough to slip through.
wondering between gulps, "Red Fox, tell me why thou art running here and there
and jumping in and out? You are upsetting my digestion!"
"I must see
that no one is coming," replied Red Fox. "Don't overeat!"
thought to himself, "I shall not leave until the barrel is empty."
Butcher hearing Red Fox scampering about entered the cellar to check.
Red Fox immediately saw Butcher and was out of the hole in one bound.
Gray Wolf attempted the hole but stuck fast.
Gray Wolf cursing, stuck fast in the hole Butcher did not need the help of
Farmer or Baker as he severed his spine with a meat cleaver.
bounded into the forest well sated and glad to be rid of the glutton.
upon a time on the banks of a great river in the north of Germany lay a town
The citizens of Hamelin were honest folk who lived
contentedly in their Grey stone houses.
The years went by, and the town
grew very rich.
Then one day, an extraordinary thing happened to
disturb the peace.
Pope Gregory IX, known for issuing the
Decretales and instituting the Papal Inquisition, also issued
Vox in Rama a papal bull issued condemning cats as
an incarnation of
In the papal bull the cat is addressed as "master" and
the incarnate devil is
half-man half-feline in nature.
Vox in Rama was a death
warrant for cats, which were slaughtered without mercy until the Black Death
descended and depopulated Europe.
Hamelin had always had rats, and a lot too.
But they had never been a
danger, for the cats had always solved the rat problem in the usual way - by
killing and eating them.
Now, with no cats, the rats began to multiply.
In the end, a black sea of rats swarmed over the whole town.
First, they attacked the barns and storehouses, then, for lack of
anything better, they gnawed the wood, cloth and even gnawed the wooden alms
The one thing they didn't eat was the
metal coin in the alms box.
The terrified citizens flocked to plead
with the town councilors to free them from the plague of rats.
council reluctuntly gathered for they knew that should they speak out against
the papal bull they too might end up in the Inquisitor's
Eventually the meekest among them finally whispered.
"What we need is an army of cats!"
But all the cats were dead.
"We'll put down poisoned food then . .
But the rats had eaten the food and there was no food to
"It just can't be done without divine intervention!" noted the
Just then, while the citizens milled around, there was a
loud knock at the door.
"Who can that be?" the city fathers wondered,
mindful of the angry crowds.
They gingerly opened the door.
To their surprise, there
stood a tall thin man dressed in clothes the colors of the rainbow, with a long
peacock feather in his hat, waving
a wooden flute.
"I've freed other towns of beetles and bats," the stranger announced, "and
for a thousand florins, I'll rid you of your rats!"
florins!" exclaimed the Mayor. "We'll give you fifty thousand!"
the stranger hurried away, saying:
"It's late now, but at dawn
tomorrow, there won't be a rat left in Hamelin!"
The sun was still
below the horizon, when the sound of a pipe wafted through the streets of
The pied piper slowly made his way through the houses and
behind him flocked the rats.
Out they scampered from doors, windows and
gutters, rats of every size, all after the piper.
And as he played, the
stranger marched down to the river and straight into the water up to chest
Behind him swarmed the rats.
Everyone of them was drowned
and swept away by the current.
By the time the sun was high in the
sky, not a single rat was left in the town.
There was great delight at
the town hall, until the piper claimed his payment.
florins?" exclaimed the councilors.
" A thousand
florins at least !" begged the pied piper angrily.
The Mayor broke in.
"The rats are all dead now and they can never come back. So be grateful for
fifty florins, or you'll not get even that . . ."
His eyes flashing with rage, the pied piper pointed a
threatening finger at the Mayor.
"You'll bitterly regret ever breaking
your promise," he said, and vanished.
A shiver of fear ran through the
councilors, but the Mayor shrugged and said excitedly: "We've saved fifty
That night, freed from the nightmare of the
rats, the citizens of Hamelin slept more soundly than ever.
strange sound of piping wafted through the streets at before dawn in the
darkest part of night, only the children heard it.
Drawn as if by
magic, they hurried out of their homes.
The pied piper sauntered
through the town, only this time it was children of all sizes that flocked at
his heels to the sound of his
The long procession soon left the town and made its
way through the wood and across the forest till it reached the foot of a huge
When the piper came to the dark rock, he played his pipe even
louder still and a great stone rolled away to reveal a cave
In trooped the children behind the pied piper, and when the
last child had gone into the darkness.
landslide came down the mountain blocking the entrance to the cave forever.
Only one little lame boy escaped this
It was he who told the anxious citizens, searching for their
children, what had happened.
And no matter what people did,
the mountain never gave up its
Many years were to pass before the
merry voices of children
would ring through the streets of Hamelin but the memory of the harsh lesson
lingered in everyone's heart and was passed down from father to son through the
once a bonded debt serving girl.
One morning she found a letter which
she tendered to her employers.
It was an invitation from the elves
asking the girl to witness a baptism.
The girl knowing not what to do,
head spinning under duress, consented.
Three elves whisked her to a
hollow mountain where the little folks lived.
Minature elegance reigned
in a bed of black ebony ornamented with pearls, covers embroidered with gold,
cradle of ivory, bath-tub of gold.
The girl, after standing as
godmother, was made to stay three days.
Three days passed in pleasure
and gaiety while the little folks served her.
Finally released they sent
her on her way pockets bulging with gold coin.
She found strangers at
the house. Her master had died.
She was astonished to discover three
days with the little men in the mountains, had been seven years!
years had passed since a Changeling with
a large head and staring eyes,
had appeared in the place of a neighbor's infant.
A midwife told her to
carry the changeling into the kitchen, set it down by the hearth, light a fire,
and boil some water in two egg-shells.
The woman did everything that
the widwife bade her.
When the water in the egg-shells on the fire
boiled goggle-eyes said, "I am as old
as the forest, but never have I seen anyone boil anything in an
And the Changeling began to laugh.
Whilst he was
laughing a host of little elves came with the mother's infant who seemed to
have not aged a day.
The elves set the infant down by the hearth taking
the changeling away.
- attributed to the Brothers Grimm, German
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