THE WONDERFUL FIDDLER.
these shrubs to the ground placed his foot on it. Then he bent a branch on the other side of the path and also stood on it, and said, " Come, little Foxey, if you want to learn music, give me your left fore-foot." The fox obeyed, and the fiddler tied it to a branch on the left hand. " Now give me the right foot also." The fox remembering that he had promised to obey, did as he was told, and the fiddler tied this foot also to the branch on the right. Then after seeing that the knots were tight, the fiddler lifted his feet and set the branches free. Up they sprung, carrying the fox with them suspended across the pathway from the boughs and kicking as he hung. " Wait till I return," said the fiddler, and away he went. »
After a while he began again to feel lonely, and taking down his violin, began to play with as much energy as ever, yet muttering all the while, " Oh ! if I only had a companion."
In a few minutes a hare appeared in his path. " Here comes a hare," cried the fiddler; " I don't want him as a companion."
But the hare was so attracted by the music that she came to the fiddler and exclaimed, " Dear fiddler, how sweetly you play! I wish I could learn."
" There is nothing so very difficult to learn," cried the musician, " if you will only do as I tell you."
" Oh ! fiddler," answered the hare, " only teach me to play as you do j I will obey you as a scholar does his master." So they walked on together for some distance, till they came to a clear place in the wood where an aspen tree grew.
The fiddler then took a long string from his pocket, and tying one end loosely round the hare's neck, fastened the other end to the tree, and said to him: " Brisk little hare, now do as I tell you, run twenty times round that tree." The hare obeyed, but by the time she had made twenty runs, the string was so firmly wound round the stem that she could not move without cutting her soft neck with the string.
And so the fiddler left his third prisoner, saying, " Stay there till I come," and went his way.
In the meantime the wolf had struggled hard to release his feet from the stone, and was hurting himself very much.
He succeeded at last, however, and then full of anger and rage hastened after the fiddler, determined to tear him in pieces. On his way he passed near to where the fox hung suspended between