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The Tree-Bark House

There once lived two neighbours in the wood, the fox and the rabbit. The fox had a house of ice and the rabbit had a house of tree-bark. When spring came, the fox’s house melted away but the rabbit’s house was as good as ever. So the fox asked the rabbit if he would let her spend the night in his house. She spent the night, and she refused to go away. More than that — she drove the rabbit out of his own house.

The rabbit was very miserable, and he cried as he walked along the road. Then he met a dog. »Bow-wow, why are you crying, Rabbit?» asked the dog. »How can I help crying? I had a house of tree-bark and the fox had a house of ice. Her house melted away. She asked me to let her in for the night, and she drove me out of my own house.» »Don’t cry, Rabbit. I shall help you to drive her out.» They went back to the rabbit’s house and the dog began barking: «Bow-wow! Bow-wow! Get out of this house at once, Fox!» But the fox answered from the stove-bed: «Just you wait. I’ll jump down. I’ll rush out. I’ll tear you to pieces and send them flying.» The dog got frightened and ran away.

Again the rabbit went along the road crying. And he met a bear. »Why are you crying, Rabbit?» asked the bear. »How can I help crying? I had a house of tree-bark and the fox had a house of ice. Her house melted away. She asked me to let her in for the night, and she drove me out of my own house.» »Don’t cry, Rabbit. I shall help you to drive her out.» »No, Bear, you won’t. The dog tried to drive her out but he couldn’t. So how can you?» «You’ll see.» They went back to the rabbit’s house and the bear started roaring: «Get out of this house at once, Fox!» But the fox answered from the stove-bed: «Just you wait. I’ll jump down. I’ll rush out. I’ll tear you to pieces and send them flying.» The bear got frightened and ran away.

Again the rabbit went along the road crying. And he met a bull. »Why are you crying, Rabbit?» asked the bull. »How can I help crying? I had a house of tree-bark and the fox had a house of ice. Her house melted away. She asked me to let her in for the night, and she drove me out of my own house.» »Don’t cry, Rabbit. I shall help you to drive her out.» «No, Bull, you won’t. The dog tried to drive her away and he couldn’t, the bear tried to drive her away and he couldn’t. So how can you?» They went back to the rabbit’s house and the bull began bellowing: «Get out of this house at once, Fox!» But the fox answered from the stove-bed: «Just you wait. I’ll jump down. I’ll rush out. I’ll tear you to pieces and send them flying.» The bull got frightened and ran away.

Again the rabbit went along the road crying. And he met a rooster who was carrying a scythe over his shouder. »Why are you crying, Rabbit?» asked the rooster. »How can I help crying? I had a house of tree-bark and the fox had a house of ice. Her house melted away. She asked me to let her in for the night, and she drove me out of my own house.» »Don’t cry, Rabbit. I shall help you to drive her out.» said the rooster. «No, Rooster, you won’t. The dog tried to drive her away and he couldn’t, the bear tried to drive her away and he couldn’t, the bull tried to drive her away and he couldn’t. So how can you?» «Don’t worry. I’ll get rid of her all right.» said the rooster.
They went back to the rabbit’s house and the Rooster started flapping his wings, stomping his feet and sang out:
«Cock-adoodle-doo!
I come after you!
Watch out, Fox -
I bring a scythe!
Get out fast,
Or I’ll have your hide!»

The fox got frightened and said: «Just a minute, I’m putting on my shoes…»
The Rooster sang out again:»
«Cock-adoodle-doo!
I come after you!
Watch out, Fox -
I bring a scythe!
Get out fast,
Or I’ll have your hide!»

The fox got frightened and said: «Just a minute, i’m putting on my coat…»
The the Rooster sang the third time:
«Cock-adoodle-doo!
I come after you!
Watch out, Fox -
I bring a scythe!
Get out fast,
Or I’ll have your hide!»
The fox dashed out of the house more dead than alive. The Rooster and the rabbit settled to live in the tree-bark house together.

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