A Story to Tell

The Fox and the Horse - Brothers Grimm
Retold By Mary Hays

One day a farmer was looking over his farm. He spied his faithful old horse. He noticed how the old horse's back swayed and how gray his coat had become. He could see that horse could not pull the plow or do any other work. The farmer did not want to feed an animal that could not work.
He spoke harshly to the old horse, "You are of no use to me any more but I won't turn you out yet. Show me you are strong enough to bring me a lion and I'll care for you to your dying days. But for now get out of my barn!"

The horse was desolate and went out into the forest to seek shelter.
He met a fox, who asked, "Why are you out in the forest all by yourself? You should be in the comfort of your barn with dry straw to lay on and oats to eat."

"Ah, greed and loyalty can't live side by side in the same house. The farmer has forgotten how I served him well for so many years. Now I can no longer pull the plow he won't feed me and has forced me out of my home."

"Without a word of consolation?"

"The consolation was meager. He told me that, if I was strong enough to bring him a lion, he would keep to my dying days but he knows full well I am old and weak."

"Well, this is a sad state of affairs! I will help you........Just lie down here on the road. Don't move. Pretend you are dead!"

The horse did exactly that.

Meanwhile the fox went to the lion's den. Fox called out to lion, "There's a dead horse lying out on the road. If you want a grand meal, come quickly!"

The lion traveled along with the fox to where the horse was lying 'dead' in the middle of the road.

Tricky fox exclaimed, "You can't enjoy this fine meal here, in the middle of the road. Some one might come along and steal your meal. You know what I'll do? I'll tie the horse to you by the tail so you can drag this fine meal to your den where you can eat in the comfort of your own home."

The lion agreed with the fox and allowed him to bind his legs with the horse's tail. Fox twisted and tied so tightly, the lion could not get away.

When Fox finished binding up the lion he commanded, "PULL, HORSE PULL.!"

The old horse jumped up and dragged the enraged lion to the farmer's house. The farmer was amazed when he saw his faithful old horse had accomplished the impossible task and brought him a lion. From that day forward the farmer fed the horse the sweetest hay and freshest water and the old horse lived on for many years in the comfort of his barn.



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