THE STORY OF A VERY BAD BOY 111
said to himself, and he made himself as small as he could and shrunk into a corner.
The wolf came down the inside of the tree, slowly, slowly; Antoine felt turned to stone, so terrified was he, and hardly dared to breathe. Suddenly an idea entered his mind, which he thought might save him still. He remembered to have heard from his mother that a wolf could neither bend his back nor turn his head, so as to look behind him, and quick as lightning he stretched up his hand, and seizing the wolf's tail, pulled it towards him.
Then he left the tree and dragged the animal to his mother's house.
' Mother, you have often declared that I was too stupid to catch a wolf by the tail. Now see,' he cried triumphantly.
' Well, well, wonders will never cease,' answered the good woman, who took care to keep at a safe distance. ' But as you really have got him, let us see if we can't put him to some use. Fetch the skin of the ram which died last week out of the chest, and we will sew the wolf up in it. He will make a splendid ram, and. to-morrow we will drive him to the fair and sell him.'
Very likely the wolf, who was cunning and clever, may have understood what she said, but he thought it best to give no sign, and suffered the skin to be sewn upon him.
' I can always get away if I choose,' thought he, ' it is better not to be in a hurry;' so he remained quite still while the skin was drawn over his head, which made him very hot and uncomfortable, and resisted the temptation to snap off the fingers or noses that were so close to his mouth.
The fair was at its height next day when Toueno-Boueno arrived with his wolf in ram's clothing. All the farmers crowded round him, each offering a higher