The Trickster Vixen

A Byelorussian Folk Tale



Book Description

Once upon a time there lived an old man and an old woman. They owned nothing, except one hen. They became so poor that at last they had nothing to eat. So the old man said: "Old woman, old woman, shall we cook the hen, then, or what?" But the old woman raised her hands in horror: "Whatever are you thinking of, old man? I'd rather go hungry than give our hen to cook !" The hen heard this. ran out into the courtyard, found a bean there and brought it to the old woman. The old man saw it and said: The bean came up and began growing. It grew and grew until it was as high as the bench. "What shall we do, old woman?" asked the old man. "We shall have to take the bench away." The old man took the bench away, but the bean went on growing higher and higher until it reached the very ceiling. "What shall we do, old woman?" asked the old man again. "We must make a hole in the ceiling." The old man made a hole in the ceiling, but the bean went on growing higher and higher, until it reached the very roof. The old man made a hole in the roof as well. The bean looked out at the light and began growing even quicker. Soon the beanstalk reached up to the sky. The old man took a bag, climbed up the beanstalk, picked all the ripe pods and climbed down again. The old woman was delighted - the old man had brought back a whole bag or bean pods! "Well, now we can make a pie!" The old woman emptied the pods, dried the beans in the oven, ground them up and mixed the dough on a pastry-board. The dough rose and rose, and tried to get off the pastry-board. The old woman put it on a wooden oven-spade, decorated with various patterns to make it look nice, and then put it into the oven to bake. But the pie rose and rose, and tried to burst out of the oven. The old woman just opened the oven-door to take a look, and the pie jumped down on the floor, ran out of the door and vanished ... The old man and the old woman went running after the pie. But it was no use! They could never catch up with it. The pie rolled into the forest. There a cunning red vixen came towards it. Read the story to find out about the adventures of the cunning red vixen and how it tricked the wolf and the bear.







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