The Fox and the Crayfish (Ukrainian Folk Tale)

Folk Tales, Ukrainian Folk Tales1063

The fox and the crayfish (ukrainian folk tale)One day, a Fox was running across a field. She came to a river and stopped short in surprise, for there before her was a Crayfish. He had crawled out of the water and onto a stone and was busy sharpening his claws.

"Hello there, Crayfish!" the Fox said. "You are sharpening your claws, I see. Is it that you are getting ready to cut the grass?"

The Crayfish returned the Fox's greeting.

"I use my claws the way you use your teeth," he said. "That”s why I need to keep them sharp."

"Now I see why people laugh when they speak about you having taken seven years to fetch some water and then going and spilling it all on the doorstep. How can one move at all when one”s teeth are on one”s feet! Is what they”ve been saying true?"

"It may have been true once, but it certainly isn't now! Let”s you and me run a race. I can even let you start a step ahead of me. We can run to that aspen tree there, on the edge of the forest.”

"All right, let”s!” the Fox agreed.

Turning to face the forest, she placed herself one step ahead of the Crayfish and waited for him to give the signal to start the race. And the Crayfish seized the Fox”s tail with his claws, tucked all of his eight legs under him and called "Go!”

The Fox was off in a flash across the field. She reached the aspen tree in no time at all and turned round to see where the Crayfish was. What was her surprise when she heard his voice coming from just behind her.

"Weren't you slow, Foxy!" the Crayfish said. "I even climbed the aspen tree to see if you would ever get here.”

The Fox opened her mouth in wonder.

"Who could have believed it!" she said.

And she never made fun of the Crayfish any more.

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