THE WOLF AND THE SEVEN YOUNG KIDS. 33
old wolf, and not their mother; so the eldest said, "We shall not open the door, you are not our mother; she has a soft and gentle voice, and your voice is rough. You are only a wolf."
Then the wolf ran away to a shop at some distance, and bought a great stick of white chalk, which he ate to make his voice soft. After he had eaten it, he went back to the goat's cottage and knocked again at the door and said, in a soft voice, which the little kids thought was their mother's, " Open the door for me now, dear children, I am your mother, and I have something nice for each of you."
But the wolf put his foot on the window-sill as he spoke, and looked into the room; the young kids saw it, and one of them said, " No ! we shall not open the door, our mother has no black feet like that; go away, you are the wolf."
So the wolf went away again to a baker's and said, " Baker, I have crushed my foot, please to wrap it in dough, that will soon cure it" And as soon as the baker had done this, he went off to the miller and asked him to cover his foot with flour. The miller was too frightened to refuse, so he floured the wolfs foot and sent him away. Such is the way of the world.
Now went the wicked animal for the third time to the house door, and said, " Open the door, dear children, it is your mother this time; she has brought you something from the forest."
I "Show us your feet," said the little kids, " then we shall know if you really are our mother." The wolf placed his white foot on the window, and when they all saw it was white, they believed ithat what he had said was all true, so they opened the door; but as soon as he entered the house they discovered that it was the wolf, and with screams of terror ran to hide themselves. One hid under the tabic, another in the bed, the third in the oven, the fourth in the kitchen, the fifth in the cupboard, the sixth under the wash-tub, and the seventh in the clock-case. But the wolf found six, and without much ceremony, gobbled them up one after the other, excepting the youngest who was hidden in the clock-case.
After the wolf had satisfied his greedy appetite, he went out lazily and laid himself down in the green meadow under a tree and fell fast asleep.
Not long after the old goat returned home from the forest.