I'HE WEDDING OF WIDOW FOX. 175
could bear it no longer, arid he determined to find out by a cunning stratagem, and foxes, as we know, are very cunning.
' So one day he lay down on a bench, stretched himself out ftt full length, held his breath, ahd kept as motionless as a dead mouse. When Mrs. Fox came into the room she thought he Was dead, so she locked herself in a room with her maid, a yoiihg cat, and was for a little while very unhappy, but presently Mrs. Fox began to feel hungry, so she sent her young maid, pussy, downstairs to cook something nice for supper.
The news of poor old fox's death soon spread in the neighbourhood, and even before the funeral several lovers came to sue for the hand of Widow Fox.
The young cat was busy frying sausages when she heard a knock *t the door, so she went out to see who it could be, and there stood a young fox. " Oh, it is you, Miss Kitty," he said, a are you asleep or awake, and what are you doing ?"
"Oh," she replied, "I'm wide awake, nevfefr fear; ahd do you want to know what I'm doing? well, I'm getting supper ready, and warming some beer with a piece of butter in it for my mistress. Will you come in, sir, and have supper with me ?"
" Thank you, my dear," said the fox; " but what is Widow Fox doing ?"
"Oh," replied the cat, "she does nothing but sit in, her room all day and cry her eyes out, because Mr. Fox is dead."
" Then go and tell her, youngster, that a young fox is here who wishes to become her suitor."
" Very good, young sir," said the cat as she turned away to go to her mistress.
She tripped upstairs, and opening the room door, exclaimed, " Are you there, dear Mother Fox?"
" Yes, little puss, what is the matter ?"
"There is a suitor come already."
"Nonsense, child ; what is he like?"
" Oh, he is a handsome young fox, with a bushy tail and such whiskers."
" Ah !" sighed the widow, " but has he nine beautiful tails, like my poor old husband had ?"
" No," answered the cat; " he has only one."
"Then I wont have him," cried the widow.