'Oh, he has everything he wants,' replied the fox; 'he is richer even than you are, your Majesty.'
'Then what can I send him in return for his pears?' said the king.
'Nothing, your Majesty, or you would hurt his feelings,' answered the fox.
'Well, tell him how heartily I thank him, and how much I shall enjoy them.' And the fox went away.
He trotted back to the cottage with his empty basket and told his tale, but the youth did not seem as pleased to hear as the fox was to tell.
'But, my dear little fox,' said he, ' you have brought me nothing in return, and I am so hungry!'
'Let me alone,' replied the fox; 'I know what I am doing. You will see, it will bring you luck.'
A few days after this the fox came back again.
'I must have another basket of pears,' said he.
'Ah, little fox, what shall I eat if you take away all my pears?' answered the youth.
'Be quiet, it will be all right,' said the fox; and taking a bigger basket than before, he filled it quite full of pears. Then he picked it up in his mouth, and trotted off to the palace.
'Your Majesty, as you seemed to like the first basket of pears, I have brought you some more,' said he, 'with my master, the Count Piro's humble respects.'
'Now, surely it is not possible to grow such pears with deep snow on the ground?' cried the king.
'Oh, that never affects them,' answered the fox lightly; 'he is rich enough to do anything. But to-day he sends me to ask if you will give him your daughter in marriage?'