The Crimson Fairy Book - online children's book

A Classic fairy tale collection for children by Andrew Lang

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'Now at last I have found some one who knows the art of lamentation,' exclaimed the bear, quite delighted; and he led the fox back to his cave, and bade him begin his lament over the dead wife who was lying stretched out on her bed of grey moss. But this did not suit the fox at all.
'One cannot wail properly in this cave,' he said, 'it is much too damp. You had better take the body to the storehouse. It will sound much finer there.' So the bear carried his wife's body to the storehouse, while he himself went back to the cave to cook some pap for the mourner. From time to time he paused and listened for the sound of wailing, but he heard nothing. At last he went to the door of the storehouse, and called to the fox:
'Why don't you howl, godfather? What are you about?'
And the fox, who, instead of weeping over the dead bear, had been quietly eating her, answered:
'There only remain now her legs and the soles of her feet. Give me five minutes more and they will be gone also!'
When the bear heard that he ran back for the kitchen ladle, to give the traitor the beating he deserved. But as he opened the door of the storehouse, Michael was ready for him, and slipping between his legs, dashed straight off into the forest. The bear, seeing that the traitor had escaped, flung the ladle after him, and it just caught the tip of his tail, and that is how there comes to be a spot of white on the tails of all foxes.
[From Finnische Mahrchen.]
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