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The Fox’s Tail

The Fox's Tail: A Fable

A Fable

A Man caught a Fox, and asked her:

“Who has taught you Foxes how to cheat the dogs?”

The Fox asked: “How do you mean, to cheat? We do not cheat the dogs, but simply run from them as fast as we can.”

The Man said:

“Yes, you do cheat them with your tails. When the dogs catch up with you and are about to clutch you, you turn your tails to one side; the dogs turn sharply after the tail, and then you run in the opposite direction.”

The Fox laughed, and said:

“We do not do so in order to cheat the dogs, but in order to turn around,” she explained. “When a dog is after us, and we see that we cannot get away straight ahead, we turn to one side, and in order to do that suddenly, we have to swing the tail to the other side, just as you do with your arms, when you have to turn around. That is not our invention; God himself invented it when He created us, so that the dogs might not be able to catch all the Foxes.”


Citation: Tolstoy, Leo. Fables for Children, Stories for Children, Natural Science Stories, Popular Education, Decembrists, Moral Tales. Boston, MA: Dana Estes & Company, 1904. Edited by S.E. Schlosser. This story is in the public domain and is part of the cited work.

S.E. Schlosser

S.E. Schlosser

S.E. Schlosser is the author of the Spooky Series published by Globe Pequot Press. She has been telling stories since she was a child, when games of “let’s pretend” quickly built themselves into full-length tales acted out with friends. A graduate of both Houghton College and the Institute of Children’s Literature, Sandy received her MLS from Rutgers University while working as a full-time music teacher and a freelance author.