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THE FARMER AND THE FOX
A FARMER was returning from a fair which
he had attended the previous day at a
neighbouring market town. He had a
quantity of poultry which he had purchased. A fox observed this, and
ap-  preaching the farmer said, "Good-morning,
"What cheer, old fellow?" said the
"I am just coming from the wood,
through which you mean to go with your
poultry. A band of highwaymen has been
tarrying there since daybreak."
"Then what shall I do?" said the farmer.
"Why," said the fox, "if I were you
I should stay here a while, and after
breakfast enter the wood, for by that time
the robbers will have left the place."
"So be it," said the farmer, and had a
hearty breakfast, with Reynard for his
They kept drinking for a long time.
Reynard appeared to have lost his wits;
he stood up and played the drunkard to
perfection. The farmer, who highly admired the pranks of his guest, roared with
laughter, and gradually fell into a deep
slumber. It was some time after noon he
awoke. But to his dismay he found that
 the fox was gone, and that the poultry had
"Alas!" said the farmer, as he trudged
on his way home with a heavy heart, "I
thought the old rogue was quite drowned
in liquor like myself, but I now see it was
all a pretence. One must indeed be very
sober to play the drunkard to perfection"