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Ukrainian folk tale

Smily-Wily the Fox

Smily-Wily the Fox

Translated by Irina Zheleznova
freebooksforkids.net
Illustrated by P.Deylik

One day Smily-Wily the Fox stole a chicken and ran off with it down the road. She ran and she ran and after a time night drew on and it was very dark.

Smily-Wily the Fox

Smily-Wily saw a hut just ahead and she came inside, bowed low to the people who lived there and said:

"Good evening, good people!"

"Good evening to you, Smily-Wily!"

"Do let me pass the night in your hut!"

"But, Smily-Wily, we haven't got any room, there's no place to put you."

Smily-Wily the Fox

"Never mind! Under that bench will I make my bed, with my bushy tail over my head, and that's how I'll spend the night."

"Very well, you can stay!"

"Where shall I put my chicken?"

"Under the stove."

Smily-Wily the Fox

Smily-Wily did as she was told, but when night came she got up very quietly, ate up the chicken and whisked all the feathers away into a corner.

Smily-Wily the Fox

And in the morning, she rose very early, washed herself very white, wished her hosts a good morning and said:

"Where's my chicken?"

"Under the stove."

"I looked, but it wasn't there." And she sat down and began to weep.

Smily-Wily the Fox

"My chicken was all I had in the world, and even that was stolen from me. You must give me a duck in return."

And nothing would do but they must give her the duck.

Smily-Wily the Fox

And Smily-Wily took the duck, put it in her sack and went on her way.

Smily-Wily the Fox

She ran and she ran and night drew on and she was still on the road. She saw a hut standing there and she came inside and said:

"Good evening, good people!"

"Good evening to you, Smily-Wily!"

"Let me pass the night in your hut."

"Our hut is so small, there's no place to put you."

Smily-Wily the Fox

"Never mind! Under that bench will I make my bed, with my bushy tail over my head, and that's how I'll spend the night."

"Very well, you can stay!"

"Where shall I put my duck?"

"In the goose-pen."

Smily-Wily the Fox

Smily-Wily did as she was told, but when night came, she got up very quietly, ate up the duck and raked the feathers into a heap.

Smily-Wily the Fox

And in the morning, she rose very early, washed herself very white, wished her hosts a good morning and said:

"Where is my duck?"

They looked into the goose-pen, but the duck was not there. Said the master of the house:

"Perhaps we've let it out with the geese?"

And Smily-Wily burst out weeping.

Smily-Wily the Fox

"The duck was all I had in the world, and even that is gone!" she cried. "You must give me a goose in return!"

And nothing would do but they must give her the goose. And Smily-Wily took the goose, put it in her sack and went on her way.

Smily-Wily the Fox

She walked and she walked till night drew on again. She saw a hut, came inside and said:

"Good evening, good people! Do let me pass the night in your hut!"

"We can't do that, Smily-Wily, we haven't got any room!"

Smily-Wily the Fox

"Never mind! Under that bench will I make my bed, with my bushy tail over my head, and that's how I'll spend the night."

"Very well, you can stay!"

"Where shall I put my goose?"

"In the barn with the ewe-lambs."

Smily-Wily did as she was told, but when night came, she got up very quietly, ate up the goose and raked the feathers into a heap. And in the morning, she rose very early, washed very white, wished her hosts a good morning and asked:

"Where is my goose?"

They went and looked, but the goose was gone.

Said Smily-Wily:

"Such a thing has never happened to me before, no matter where I was or spent the night. Nothing was ever lost."

Smily-Wily the Fox

Said the master of the house:

"Maybe the ewe-lambs have trampled your goose to death?"

And Smily-Wily replied:

"That's all very well, but you must give me a lamb in return."

And nothing would do but they must give her the lamb. And Smily-Wily popped the lamb into her sack and went on her way.

Smily-Wily the Fox

She ran and she ran and, before she knew it, night fell. She saw a hut and asked to be let in for the night.

"Do let me in, good people!" she begged.

"We can't do that, Smily-Wily, we haven't got any room. There's no place to put you."

"Never mind! Under a bench will I make my bed, with my bushy tail over my head, and that's how I'll spend the night."

"Very well, you can stay!"

"Where shall I put my lamb?"

"Leave it in the yard."

Smily-Wily the Fox

Smily-Wily did as she was told, but when night came, she got up very quietly and ate up the lamb. And in the morning, she rose very early and washed very white and said just as she had so many times before:

"Where is my lamb?"

And she sat down and wept and wept.

"Such a thing has never happened to me before, no matter where I was or spent the night."

Smily-Wily the Fox

Said the master of the house:

"Perhaps my daughter-in-law let it out as she drove the bullocks to water?"

Said Smily-Wily:

"That is all very well, but you must give me your daughter-in-law in return for my lamb."

Smily-Wily the Fox

The old man cried and the old woman cried and their son cried and their son's children cried, but Smily-Wily seized the old man's daughter-in-law and whisked her into her sack.

Smily-Wily the Fox

She tied the sack with a rope and then she left the hut for a few moments. And the old man's son let his wife out of the sack and put a dog in instead.

Smily-Wily the Fox

Smily-Wily came back and she took up the sack and carried it off with her. She walked and she walked and she said:

"A duck for the chicken, a goose for the duck, a lamb for the goose and a young wife for the lamb!"

Smily-Wily the Fox

She shook the sack and the dog inside it went:

"G-r-r!"

Said Smily-Wily:

"The old man's daughter-in-law is so frightened, she howls! I think I'll peep inside and take a look at her."

She undid the sack and lo! out the dog jumped with a bow-wow-wow!

Smily-Wily the Fox

Smily-Wily bolted away, and the dog ran after her. Smily-Wily ran deeper and deeper into the forest, and there was the dog on her heels!

Smily-Wily the Fox

But at last Smily-Wily ran up to her fox-hole and hid there. She sat in the hole, and the dog stood over it and couldn't get in.

Smily-Wily the Fox

Said Smily-Wily:

"Little Ears, Little Ears!
Come, tell me why, on this fine day
From that meany-mean dog you ran away?"

Smily-Wily the Fox

And the Little Ears replied:

" 'Twas, Smily-Wily, that we feared to behold
That meany-mean dog tear your coat of gold!"

"Thank you, Little Ears, I shall buy you a pair of gold earrings for this," said Smily-Wily, and she called out again:

"Little Feet, Little Feet!
Come, tell me why, on this fine day
From that meany-mean dog you ran away?"

Smily-Wily the Fox

And the Little Feet replied:

" 'Twas, Smily-Wily, that we feared to behold
That meany-mean dog tear your coat of gold.
And we went not slow, we went quick as quick,
We ran ahead with a blickerty-blick!"

"Thank you, Little Feet, thank you kindly. I shall buy you a pair of gold boots with silver heels," said Smily-Wily, and she called again:

"Little Big Tail, broom-brush-stick,
What made you rush away so quick
From that meany-mean dog on this bright day?
Little Big Tail, come tell me, pray!"

And the Little Big Tail replied:

"I went off in a rush, but I caught in the brush,
And I whipped you,
And I tripped you,
And I went slow as slow, I went not fast,
For I wanted to see you caught at last!"

Smily-Wily was very angry and she stuck her tail out of the burrow and said:

"If that is so, then, dog, you may have my tail. Bite off as much of it as you can!"

Smily-Wily the Fox

And the dog sank his teeth into the tail so hard that he bit off the whole of it!

Smily-Wily the Fox

Author: Ukrainian folk tale; illustrated by Deylik P.

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