Gossip Wolf and the Fox (The Fox and Her Cousin)
Adapted from the Brother’s Grimm
The he-wolf sired a young one and invited the fox to be the godmother. “After all, she is a near relative of ours,” said he, “she has a good understanding and much talent; she can instruct my little daughter and help her forward in the world.” The fox, too, appeared quite honest and said, “Worthy Mr. Gossip, I thank you for the honor which you are doing me; I will, however, conduct myself in such a way that you shall be repaid for it.”
She enjoyed herself at the feast and made marry; afterwards she said, “Dear Mr. Gossip, it is our duty to take care of the child, it must have good food that it may be strong. I know a sheep-fold from which we might fetch a nice morsel.” The wolf was pleased with the ditty and he went out with the fox to the farmyard. She pointed to the fold from afar and said, “You will be able to creep in there without being seen and in the meantime I will look about on the other side to see if I can pick up a chicken.” She, however, did not go there but sat down at the entrance to the forest, stretched her legs and rested.
The he-wolf crept into the stable. A dog was lying there and it made such a noise that the peasants came running out, caught Gossip Wolf and poured a strong burning mixture, which had been prepared for washing, over his skin. At last he escaped and dragged himself outside. There lay the fox, who pretended to be full of complaints and said, “Ah dear Master Gossip, how ill I have fared, the peasants have fallen on me and have broken every limb I have; if you do not want me to lie where I am and perish, you must carry me away.”
The he-wolf himself was only able to go away slowly but he was in such concern about the fox that he took her on his back and slowly carried her perfectly safe and sound to his house. Then the fox cried to him, “Farewell, dear Master Gossip, may the roasting you have had do you good,” laughed heartily at him and bounded off.