Magic Boots

“Careful Cat and Old Brother Bear
look out on Christmas Eve.
Careful Cat and Old Brother Bear,
the Foxes often deceive.

One December, the Funny Fox heard that Old Brother Bear had magic boots in which he could travel a mile a minute, and that the Careful Cat had such wonderful spectacles that she could see what was going to happen in the future when she looked through them. So he decided to invite them to hang up their stockings in his den on Christmas Eve.

They were happy to come and hang up their stockings, of course, and the Funny Fox built a splendid bonfire outside the den. So they sat about in comfort, waiting for Santa Claus to call. Meanwhile, Mrs. Fox filled the stocking full of nuts and candy and said Santa Claus might come the other way, as there was another opening to the den!

The Funny Fox said, ‘Old Brother Bear, let me try on your boots a minute to see if they would fit me.’ Then, to the Careful Cat, he said, ‘Just let me try on your spectacles a minute to see if Santa Claus is coming.’

The animals readily consented, and at this very minute was heard the ‘tinkle, tinkle, tinkle’ of sleigh-bells. And Mrs. Fox said, ‘Hurry, hurry, you may get a glimpse of Santa Claus.’

Old Brother Bear forgot his magic boots, and the Careful Cat forgot the wonderful spectacles. They hurried into the den.

There stood the well-filled stockings, so they shouted, ‘Hurrah! Hurrah! for Santa Claus.’

They hurried out to see him, but he was nowhere to be found, and the Funny Fox had walked off a mile with the magic boots, and what he saw through the wonderful spectacles there is no way of knowing.

Old Mrs. Fox said, ‘You got your stockings filled anyway.’

The Careful Cat remarked to Old Brother Bear as they went homeward, ‘They who play with edged tools must expect to be cut.'”

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