Willful Wolf

Today, I introduce to you
the Willful Wolf who plays tricks too.
These animals all try to please,
but one another they will tease.

The Funny Fox pricked up his ears and said, “Chicken or young lambs are all the same to me.” So off he and the Willful Wolf went, trip, trip, tripping along.

Bye and bye, they came in view of a field where the young lambs were. There was a hill leading to the field called “Tumble-Down Hill,” and the Willful Wolf knew every inch of the ground, for he had lived there about all his life. He knew every hole and rock and pitfall, and had had many a tumble himself. He also knew the safe places to travel on Tumble-Down Hill.

He suggested a race, and the Funny Fox, suspecting nothing, joined heartily. In less than no time, he fell and hurt his foot, and the Willful Wolf reached the fold and went off with a young lamb, saying, “Where are you, Funny Fox? Why are you so slow? There are plenty of young lambs here. Well, as I won the race, I will go off with the prize.”

The Willful Wolf went off with the young lamb.

At this very minute, the Bold Badger came clippety, clippety, clip along. He walked on the whole sole of his foot, as is the habit with badgers, and he said, “By my long hair, I do declare, the Funny Fox is lying there.”

The Funny Fox said, “Why do you come walking along so slowly? Can’t you see I need help, for I have had an accident?”

The Bold Badger, though a solitary fellow, really liked the Funny Fox and his capers, and remarked that he would go borrow a wheelbarrow to take him home.

The Bold Badger was soon wheeling the Funny Fox toward his den, and as they went, he said in a sing-song kind of way, “I wonder why you call me a Bold Badger, for I am naturally a little shy and seldom go about except at night. My ancestors in Scotland and England went by the name of ‘Brock,’ and in some parts of England today I am called ‘Grey.’ My cousins, the Sand Bear and Indian Bear, look much like me.”

The Funny Fox had not heard a single word the Bold Badger had said, for as they jogged along the road to Somewhere-in-Particular, his old head full of plans for teasing other animals, he fell asleep.

So the Bold Badger left him asleep in the wheelbarrow outside his den and said to himself, as he thought of the many times the Funny Fox had played tricks and that the Willful Wolf had outwitted him, “it is a long lane that has no turning.”