THE MARVELLOUS MUSICIAN
T HERE was once upon a time a marvellous musician. One day he was wandering through a wood all by himself, thinking now of one thing, now of another, till there was nothing else left to think about. Then he said to himself:
' Time hangs very heavily on my hands when I'm all alone in the wood. I must try and find a pleasant companion.'
So he took his fiddle out, and fiddled till he woke the echoes round. After a time a wolf came through the thicket and trotted up to the musician.
' Oh ! it's a Wolf, is it ? ' said he. ' I've not the smallest wish for his society.'
But the Wolf approached him and said :
' Oh, my dear musician, how beautifully you play ! I wish you'd teach me how it's done.'
' That's easily learned,' answered the fiddler; ' you must only do exactly as I tell you.'
' Of course I will,' replied the Wolf. ' I can promise that you will find me a most apt pupil.'
So they joined company and went on their way together, and after a time they came to an old oak tree, which was hollow ;uid had a crack in the middle of the trunk.
' Now,' said the Musician, ' if you want to learn to fiddle, here's your chance. Lay your front paws in this crack.'
The Wolf did as he was told, and the Musician quickly seized a stone, and wedged both his fore paws so firmly into the crack that he was held there, a fast prisoner.
' Wait there till I return,' said the Fiddler, and he went on his way.
After a time he said to himself again :
' Time hangs very heavily on my hands when I'm all alone in the wood; I must try and find a companion.'