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A Child's Book of Stories by  Penrhyn W. Coussens


 

 

THE FOX AS HERDSMAN

[249]

O
NCE upon a time there was a woman who went out ot hire a herdsman, and she met a bear.

"Where are you going, Goody?" said Bruin. "Oh, I'm going our to hire a herdsman," answered the woman.

"Why not have me for a herdsman?" said Bruin.

"Well, why not?" said the woman. "If you only knew how to call the flock! Just let me hear how you would do it."

"O-ow! 0-0w!" growled the bear.

"No, no! I won't have you," said the woman, as soon as she heard him say that; and off she went on her way.

So when she had gone a bit farther, she met a wolf.

"Where are you going, Goody?" asked the wolf.

"Oh," said she, "I'm going out to hire a herdsman."

"Why not have me for a herdsman?" asked the wolf.

"Well, why not? If you could only call the flock! Just let me hear how you would do it," said she.

"Uh! uh!" said the wolf.

"No, no!" said the woman; "that would never do."

After she had gone a while longer, she met a fox.

"Where are you going, Goody?" asked the fox.

"Oh, I'm just going out to hire a herdsman." Said the woman.

Why not have me for your herdsman?" asked the fox.

"Well, why not?" said she. "If you could only call the flock! How would you do it?"

"Dil-dal-holm," called out the fox in a clear voice.

[250] "Yes, you'll do," said the woman; and so she set the fox to herd her flock.

The first day the fox ate up all the woman's goats; the second day he made an end of all her sheep; and the third day he ate up all her cows. When he came home on the evening of the third day, the woman asked him where her flocks were.

"Oh," said the fox, "their skulls are in the stream, and their bodies in the woods."

Now the woman was churning when the fox said this, but she thought she might as well go out and look after her flock; and while she was away the fox crept into the churn and ate up the cream. When the woman came back and saw what he had done, she was so angry that she snatched up what cream there was left and threw it at the fox as he ran off, and some of it stuck to his tail. So that is the reason why the fox has a white tip to his brush.


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