The Red Book Of Animal Stories - online children's book

Stories of Animals, Fantastic and Mundane, Edited By Andrew Lang

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52
A FOX TALE
for miles round in all directions, so that if one is dis≠covered, they still have two or three other breakfasts or dinners waiting for them somewhere else.
Mrs. Fox did not seem to take her loss very much to heartómerely told young Eenard that he would have to cater for himself and her now, and bade him hurry on with his breakfast.
His meal over, Renard sauntered about till he found a cosy place in a spruce covert wherein to rest. He tried this place and that, but none suited him : one was too humpy, another too deep, and a third full of pine needles ; but at last, after a great deal of thinking and poking, he twisted himself into a round woolly ball, curled his tail over his nose and slept soundly till dusk.
When he awoke, he remembered with a pang that he would have to do the hunting all alone that night, and for every night to come ; and that, if there were any poachers' nets or gamekeepers' traps, he would be sure to fall into them, as now he had no one to reconnoitre on ahead.
He thought over all the birds and beasts which he liked best to eat, and decided that a nice fat chicken was really dearest to his heart. So away he went, as soon as it was dark, to a farmyard some five miles off. Arrived there, he was not long in discovering the hen-house, and, luckily for him, the hen-wife had left the small lower door open to admit three stray ducks who had not made their appearance at the usual locking-up hour. Renard was not slow to 'avail himself of this piece of good luck, and, creeping slyly through the hole, stood quite still for a minute or two to see if his entrance had been observed. It had evidently not, for there was the silence of sleep upon the unsuspecting fowls ; so, cautiously, and with a beating heart, he softly scaled the ladder, and crept towards an open coop which was standing on the floor. There was a nice fat chicken inside, which stirred a little as Renard approached, and fearing it was going to wake
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