Belarusian Folk Tales

The Fox and the Crane

A fox made friends with a crane and went to call him to visit her:

"Do come, crony, do come, dear. I'll treat you the best way!"

The crane came on a visit to the fox. She had made some semolina, served it on a platter and begged,

"Help yourself, crony, I made it myself."

The crane struck and struck the platter with his long beak - he could not get a bit of semolina.

And the fox, at the same time, licked and licked the platter, till she licked the semolina all up.

"Well," the fox said, "do forgive me, crony. I have nothing else to treat you to."

"Thank you, anyway, my dear friend. Now you must come and visit me."

The next day the fox came to visit the crane. He had cooked cold soup, put it in a jug with a long narrow neck, placed it on a table and said:

"Help yourself to the cold soup, my dear friend. I have nothing else to treat you to."

The fox bent over the jug: she twisted this way, and that, licked the jug, smelled it - but nothing helped: she could not push her head into the jug.

The crane wasted no time: pecked and pecked. He pecked away till he ate up all what he had cooked.

"Well," the crane said, "don't be angry with me, my dear friend. I have nothing else to treat you to."

Oh, how angry the fox was! She went home hungry!

Since that time the fox has not been friends with the crane.


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