248 THE FOX AND THE LAPP
And in a moment the whole place was full of little creatures each one with a tiny bow and a spear hardly big enough for a baby; but both arrows and spears could sting, as the bear knew very well, and in his fright he gave such a tug to his tail that it broke short off, and he rolled away into the forest as fast as his legs could carry him. At this sight the fox held his sides for laughing, and then scampered away in another direction. By-and-by he came to a fir tree, and crept into a hole under the root. After that he did something very strange.
Taking one of his hind feet between his two front paws, he said softly :
' What would you do, my foot, if someone was to betray me ? '
I would run so quickly that he should not catch you.'
' What would you do, mine ear, if someone was to betray me ? '
'1 would listen so hard that I should hear all his plans.'
' What would you do, my nose, if someone was to betray me ?'
' I would smell so sharply that I should know from afar that he was coming.'
' What would you do, my tail, if someone was to betray me ?'
' I would steer you so straight a course that you would soon be beyond his reach. Let us be off; I feel as if danger was near.'
But the fox was comfortable where he was, and did not hurry himself to take his tail's advice. And before very long he found he was too late, for the bear had come round by another path, and guessing where his enemy was began to scratch at the roots of the tree. The fox made himself as small as he could, but a scrap of his tail peeped out, and the bear seized it and held it tight. Then the fox dug his claws into the ground, but he was