THE FOX AND THE WOLF 59
bringing home with me enough cheese to feed the children. All I beg of you is to come with me, and, instead of hunting chickens and such things, I will make a good meal off cheese before I die.'
'But the cheeses may be all finished by now?' 1 If you were only to see the quantities of them!' laughed the fox. 'And even if they were finished, there would always be me to eat.'
'Well, I will come. Lead the way, but I warn you that if you try to escape or play any tricks you are reckoning without your host — that is to say, without my legs, which are as long as yours!'
All was silent in the village, and not a light was to be seen but that of the moon, which shone bright and clear in the sky. The wolf and the fox crept softly along, when suddenly they stopped and looked at each other; a savoury smell of frying bacon reached their noses, and reached the noses of the sleeping dogs, who began to bark greedily.
'Is it safe to go on, think you?' asked the wolf in a whisper. And the fox shook her head.
'Not while the dogs are barking,' said she; 'someone might come out to see if anything was the matter.' And she signed to the wolf to curl himself up in the shadow beside her.
In about half an hour the dogs grew tired of barking, or perhaps the bacon was eaten up and there was no more smell to excite them. Then the wolf and the fox jumped up, and hastened to the foot of the wall.
'I am lighter than he is,' thought the fox to herself, 'and perhaps if I make haste I can get a start, and jump over the wall on the other side before he manages to spring over this one.' And she quickened her pace. But if the wolf could not run he could jump, and with one bound he was beside his companion.
'What were you going to do, comrade?'