51 Tales translated to English by Lucy Crane & Illustrated by Walter Crane

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HERE was once an old fox with nine tails, who wished to put his wife's affec­tion to proof, pretended to be dead, and stretched himself under the bench quite stiff, and never moved a joint, on which Mrs. Fox retired to her room and locked herself in, while her maid, the cat, stayed by the kitchen fire and attended to the cooking. When it became known that the old fox was dead, some suitors prepared to come forward, and presently the maid heard some one knocking at the house door; she went and opened it, and there was a young fox, who said,
11 What is she doing, Miss Cat ? Is she sleeping, or waking, or what is she at ? "
And the cat answered,
I am not asleep, I am quite wide awake, Perhaps you would know what I'm going to make ; I'm melting some butter, and warming some beer, Will it please you sit down, and partake of my cheer ? "
" Thank you, miss," said the fox. " What is Mrs. Fox doing ? "
The maid answered,