How Brother Rabbit Saved The Meat
One day Brother Wolf was going home with a string of fish over his shoulder. He liked fish and often fished in the river. He was going along the road when old Sister Partridge flew out of the bushes and ran along the road in front of him. Brother Wolf said to himself:
"Sister Partridge is trying to lead me away from her nest."
Brother Wolf liked fish, but he liked fresh meat much more. So he laid his fish down on the grass, and ran into the bushes to look for the nest. While he was in the bushes, Brother Rabbit came along and saw the fish. He saw the fish, but he did not see their owner. Well, what do you think happened? I can tell you that the fish did not remain where Brother Wolf left them, and when he came back, he did not find them.
Brother Wolf sat down and scratched his head. He thought and thought, and at last he said to himself: "Brother Rabbit is the man who stole my fish."
So he ran to Brother Rabbit's house, and knocked at the door. Brother Rabbit did not open the door, but he looked out of the window. "What is the matter, Brother Wolf?" he asked When Brother Wolf told him about the fish, he answered:
"I don't know anything about your fish."
"But I know very well that you have them."
"How do you know that?"
"I saw your footprints near the place where ' left my fish."
"I didn't touch your fish."
"I am sure that you have them."
"Well, if you believe that I have your fish, you may go and kill my cow."
Brother Wolf took Brother Rabbit at his word and went to the field to kill Brother Rabbit's cow.
Brother Rabbit did not want to lose his cow. So he made a plan. He told his children to get the smoke-house ready.
"If Brother Wolf kills my cow, I shall bring the meat back," he said.
Then he ran to the field. The cow was lying on the grass dead, and Brother Wolf was preparing to skin it.
"Brother Wolf! Brother Wolf!" shouted Brother Rabbit, "run away and hide yourself! The hunters are coming with their dogs!"
At that moment a dog began to bark not far away, and Brother Wolf believed Brother Rabbit. He ran away and hid himself. Brother Rabbit began to work at once. He skinned the cow, cut the meat into pieces, and took the meat and the skin to the smoke-house. Then he took the cow's tail and dug its end into the ground. After that he began to shout:
"Brother Wolf, come here! Come here quick, Brother Wolf! Your cow is going into the ground."
Brother Wolf came back very quickly and this is what he saw: Brother Rabbit was holding on to the cow-tail and trying to pull it out of the ground. Brother Wolf caught hold of the tail, too, and they began to pull together. They pulled and pulled and the tail came out of the ground, but there was no cow at its end! Then Brother Rabbit said:
"Look! You have the tail, and the cow is in
the ground!" '
But Brother Wolf wanted to find the cow. So he got a spade and began to dig. He dug and lie dug, but he could not find the cow. Old Brother Rabbit sat all the time on his porch and smoked Ins pipe. From time to time he looked at his children, and laughed, and said:
"He is digging, digging, digging, but there is no meat there! He is digging, digging, digging, but there's no meat there!"
Because all this time the meat was lying in the smoke-house, and Brother Rabbit and his children ate as much as they wanted for a long time.