60 THE FOX AND THE WOLF
1 Oh, nothing,' replied the fox, much vexed at the failure of her plan.
' I think if I were to take a bite out of your haunch you would jump better,' said the wolf, giving a snap at her as he spoke. The fox drew back uneasily.
'Be careful, or I shall scream,' she snarled. And the wolf, undertsanding all that might happen if the fox carried out her threat, gave a signal to his companion to leap on the wall, where he immediately followed her.
Once on the top they crouched down and looked about them. Not a creature was to be seen in the courtyard, and in the furthest corner from the house stood the well, with its two buckets suspended from a pole, just as the fox had described it. The two thieves dragged themselves noiselessly along the wall till they were opposite the well, and by stretching out her neck as far as it would go the fox was able to make out that there was only very little water in the bottom, but just enough to reflect the moon, big, and round and yellow.
'How lucky!' cried she to the wolf. 'There is a huge cheese about the size of a mill wheel. Look! look! did you ever see anything so beautiful!'
'Never!' answered the wolf, peering over in his turn, his eyes glistening greedily, for he imagined that the moon's reflection in the water was really a cheese.
'And now, unbeliever, what have you to say?' And the fox laughed gently.
' That you are a woman — I mean a fox — of your word,' replied the wolf.
'Well, then, go down in that bucket and eat your fill,' said the fox.
'Oh, is that your game?' asked the wolf, with a grin. 'No! no! The person who goes down in the bucket will be you! And if you don't go down your head will go without you!'
'Of course I will go down, with the greatest