It was deep mid-winter and Freddie the Fox was very, very hungry. "Where am I going to find something to eat?" he wailed to himself. But as he passed a big oak tree his nose twitched. He could smell something delicious. Inside a hollow in the trunk was some bread and meat that a shepherd had left there. Freddie crept inside, and he ate and he ate and he ate. "Marvelous," he said, licking his lips when he'd finished the very last crumb. But what do you think happened? He was now so fat he couldn't get out again! He squeezed… and he squozed… and he squerged… but it was no good. He was stuck fast. "Tee-hee-hee," laughed a passing bee. "You'll just have to stay there until you get thin again." And by the time Freddie got out he was hungry as before!
A splinter from the picture pierced his hand and the wound turned poisonous. The young man died, and the king's nightmare came true.
Once upon a time a fox and a donkey made a plan to go hunting together. "With my cunning and your speed," said the fox, "we're sure to be successful." All went well until suddenly a fierce lion jumped out in their path.
The fox thought quickly, and went and whispered in the lion's ear. "If you let me go I'll lead the donkey into a cave from which it can't escape," he promised. "Then you'll have an easy supper."
The lion agreed, and so the fox did as he said, and turned to the lion looking pleased with himself. "There you are," he said. "The donkey is trapped, just as I promised."
"Well done, my friend," said the lion. "Now I can eat you for tea and enjoy the donkey for supper later on." And with that he killed the treacherous fox.
A man and a lion once went on a journey together. Each began telling the other how much stronger he was than the other. As they walked along the road they passed a great stone statue that showed a man winning a fight with a lion.
"There you are," said the man. "That proves that men are stronger than lions." The lion just smiled. "Don't be too sure, my friend," replied the lion. "If we lions knew how to carve, you would see more statues with a lion on top of a man."
Freddie the Fox was prowling around one dark night behind an actor's house when he found a window open. In he jumped and began to explore. In the corner he found a big trunk, full of the clothes the actor wore on the stage. On top was a mask with a very handsome face painted on it. "What a fine face," thought Freddie. "I should like to be as handsome as that." He sat back and looked at it for a while, swishing his tail. Then he said: "What a pity it has no brains," and jumped back out of the window.
The hunters were after Freddie the Fox. He flew across the fields in terror, until he saw a wood-cutter returning from woods. "Please help me!" Freddie gasped. "Go and hide in my hut there," replied the wood-cutter. Freddie peeped out of the hut. He saw the hunters stop and ask the woodsman if they had seen a fox. "No," said the tree-cutter loud enough for Freddie to hear but, as he spoke. He pointed his finger towards the hut.
Luckily for Freddie the hunters didn't notice this and rode away. The fox slipped out of the hut to run home. "Aren't you even going to say thank you to me for saving you?" asked the wood-cutter as Freddie went past him. "I would have done," replied Freddie, "but I saw how you tried to betray me."
"How lucky I am," though the fat pigeon as she sat in her big cage outside her master's cottage. "I'm given lots to eat, and I don't have to stir a feather to find anything for myself." Just then a crow came flying by and fluttered down to sit on top of her cage.
"You must be tired out having to hunt for yourself," said the pigeon. "Don't you wish you could live as well as me?' "Not at all," cried the crow as he flew off. "I'd rather be free to hunt my own food than sit there waiting to be put in the oven and cooked for supper."
Some lions may be bullies, but not all of them. Once, a lion was out hunting and killed a buffalo. Suddenly, a bandit – a rather stupid fellow – jumped out from behind a bush. "I'm not afraid of you," he shouted. "Hand over half that buffalo." "If you're not afraid, you should be," said the lion, and growled so fiercely the bandit took to his heels. Shortly afterwards, a traveler came along and, seeing the lion, stepped back quietly. "Don't be afraid," said the lion. "Because you're not a greedy pig like the bandit I've just chased away, you can leaving half the buffalo for the traveler.
Every year the animals met to choose a new King. One year, the cheekiest of all the monkeys danced around the animals, turning cartwheels and swinging from the branches. "Very good," cried the animals. "Very clever. You deserve to be King for a year." "Huh!" said Freddie the Fox. "That monkey is just a fool. Watch this." Nearby there was a trap with some meat in it. Freddie said to the monkey: "As you are our new King I want to give you a gift. Here is a nice piece of meat I was keeping just for myself."
With a squeak of delight the monkey leapt on it, and the trap snapped shut. "My dear little monkey," said Freddie as he opened the trap and let him out, "if you want to be a king of all the animals you've got to learn to be clever."
Millie was a town-mouse who had a cousin called Cora in the country. Millie went to spend her holidays with her. Every day they had barley for breakfast and tea, and corn for supper. They ate as much as they liked, and then went to sleep snug and warm in the hay.
"What boring food you have, Millie," said Cora. "Always the same things to eat. Come and stay with me and see all the good things we have in town." So Cora caught the mouse bus and went to town.
Millie showed Cora all the scrumptious food in her house – butter, bread and honey, peas, beans and fruit. "Let's have a feast," said Millie. But every time they began eating, something dreadful happened.
First, some humans came in and the mice fled in terror.
Next came a fierce dog and, worst of all, the cat chased them out of the house. "I'm exhausted," said Cora after a day. "I'm off home at once. We may not have exciting food but at least I can eat in peace!"
But he was so big and clumsy that he knocked him flying! Denzil's reward was to be tied up in the barnyard in disgrace.