A wee mouse was scampering along one day when, before he could stop himself, he ran over the face of a sleeping lion. The lion got a shock, and snatched the mouse up in one great paw. He was about to swallow it when the mouse squeaked:
“Please, Mr. Lion, know you're much, much bigger than me. But please don't eat me. Who knows, small though I am, I might be able to help you one day.”
The lion thought this was so funny he let the mouse go. “After all,” he said “I've already had an antelope and two warthogs for supper this week, so I'm not hungry.” A few days later, the lion was caught in a hunter's net. He roared in misery. A few moments later, the wee mouse came scampering up.
“I heard you call,” she said. “I'll soon get you out of there.” All through the night she chewed through the ropes, one by one, until the lion was free. And ever after, the mouse lived safe and warm in the lion's den.
The king's only son loved hunting, but his father had a nightmare in which he was killed by a lion. He was so determined to keep him safe that he imprisoned him in a large wooden hall, built on a high stone platform. The walls of the hall were painted with pictures of the hunt.
His son grew more and more desperate at his captivity. One day, he was standing before the painting of lion. “Wretched animal,” he cried, “it's because of you I'm imprisoned here,” and he began to hit it with his fists.
A splinter from the picture pierced his hand and the wound turned poisonous. The young man died, and the king's nightmare came true.
Every night Denzil the donkey watched his master's pet dog jump up to greet him, wagging her tail furiously. The farmer would pat her on the head, put his hand in his pocket and give her some biscuits.
Denzil felt quite jealous. So the next night Denzil began jumping round in circles when he saw his master, swishing his tail. Then he jumped up to greet him.
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.
Freddie the Fox set off on a journey with a monkey. As they walked, they began boasting about how rich and important their parents and grandparents had been. After a while, they passed a graveyard with lots of big and expensive head-stones over the tombs. The monkey gave a big sigh. “Why, what's the matter?'' asked Freddie. “Look over there,” said the monkey. “There are the tombstones of the servants of my family. Now you can see how important my mother and father were.” With a laugh, Freddie slapped the monkey on the back. “My friend,” he said, “do you really expect me to believe a lot of people who can't get up and speak the truth?”
Freddie the Fox was determined to jump over the big fence. There were chickens on the other side, and he would just love one for his supper. He took a long run and jumped. He almost got to the top of the fence, but not quite. He almost got to the top of the fence, but not quite. His back feet kicked and scrabbled for a toehold but, just as he was falling, he grabbed at a big bramble bush to save himself. The thorns tore a big hole in his paws. “Yowee,” yelled Freddie. “I thought I could trust you to help me!”
“More fool you, my friend,” chuckled the bramble bush. “I treat everyone just the same.”
Freddie the Fox was wandering through the fields one day when he spied a big bunch of ripe grapes hanging down just over his head. “M'mm,” he said to himself. “They smell delicious. I'll have them for supper.” He leapt upwards but he couldn't quite reach them. “Bother,” he said, and jumped again without any luck. “This is going to be harder than I thought,” said Freddie. This time he took a long run and leapt as high as he could. The tip of his nose just brushed the grapes but he crashed to earth, on his head, without them. “Ow!” said Freddie, rubbing his sore head. “Bah and poo-bah! Stupid grapes. I didn't want them anyway.” And he staggered off feeling very cross.
Freddie Fox once tumbled into a deep tank of water and couldn't get out. He might have drowned if a goat hadn't come along. “Is the water good to drink?” he asked. “Wonderful!” said Freddie. “Come on in.”
The goat jumped in, and drank till the tank was empty. “Now to get out,” said Freddie. “You stand up against the side of the tank, I will climb up your back and your horns and then pull you out.” “Good idea,” said the goat, and did as Freddie suggested. The cunning fox scrambled up, pulled himself out and strolled off whistling. “What about me?” squealed the goat.
“Well,” said Freddie, “you should have worked that out before you got in.”