THE FOX AND THE LITTLE RED HEN
HERE was once a little red hen that lived in a house by
herself in the wood. And over the hill, in a hole in
the rocks, lived a sly, crafty old fox.
Now this crafty old fellow of a fox lay awake nights,
and prowled slyly about days, trying to think of how he
should get the little red hen. He wanted to carry her
home to boil for his supper.
But the wise little hen never left her house without
locking the door and putting the key in her pocket; so
the old fox watched and prowled and lay awake nights
till he grew pale and thin, but he found no way to get
the wise little red hen.
At last one morning he took a big bag over his
shoulder, and said to his mother:
"Mother, have the pot boiling when I come home, for
I'll bring the little red hen for our supper."
Away he went over the hill and through the wood to
where the red hen lived in her snug little house.
Just at that moment out came the little red hen to pick
up sticks for her fire, and in slipped the fox and hid
behind the door.
In came the hen in a minute and locked the door, and
put the key in her pocket. When she saw they fox she
dropped her sticks and flew with a great flutter up to
the beam across the house under the roof.
"Ah," said the sly fox, "I'll soon bring you down." And
 he began to whirl around and around and around, faster
and faster and faster, after his big, bushy tail.
The little red hen looked at him till she got so dizzy
that she fell off the beam to the floor. The fox caught
her and put her into his bag and started straight for
Up the wood and down the wood he went with the little
red hen shut tight in the bag. She thought it was all
over with her.
After a while the fox lay down to rest. Then she came
to her wits, and put her hand into her pocket and took
out a bright little pair of scissors. With them she
snipped a hole in the bag. She leaped out and picked up
a big stone and dropped it into the bag and ran home as
fast as her legs could carry her.
The fox waked up and started again with his bag over
his shoulders. "How heavy the little red hen is," he
said, "that I am to have for my supper."
His mother was standing at the door of his den waiting
for him. "Mother," he said, "have you the pot
"Yes, to be sure!" said she, "and have you the little
"Yes, here in my bag. Lift the lid, and let me put her
in," said the fox.
The fox untied the bag and held it over the boiling
water and shook it. The heavy stone fell into the water
with a splash which went up over the fox and his mother
and scalded them. And the little red hen lived safe in
her house in the wood.