How Reynard Outwitted Bruin

Once on a time there was a bear, who sat on a hillside in the sun and slept. Just then Reynard came slouching by and caught sight of him.

“There you sit taking your ease, grandsire,” said the fox. “Now, see if I don’t play you a trick.” So he went and caught three field-mice and laid them on a stump close under Bruin’s nose, and then he bawled out into his ear, “Bo! Bruin, here’s Peter the Hunter, just behind this stump”; and as he bawled this out he ran off through the wood as fast as ever he could.

Bruin woke up with a start, and when he saw the three little mice, he was as mad as a March hare, and was going to lift up his paw and crush them, for he thought it was they who had bellowed in his ear.

But just as he lifted it he caught sight of Reynard’s tail among the bushes by the woodside,  and away he set after him, so that the underwood crackled as he went, and, to tell the truth, Bruin was so close upon Reynard that he caught hold of his off hind foot just as he was crawling into an earth under a pine-root. So there was Reynard in a pinch; but for all that he had his wits about him, for he screeched out, “Slip the pine-root and catch Reynard’s foot,” and so the silly bear let his foot slip and laid hold of the root instead. But by that time Reynard was safe inside the earth, and called out:

“I cheated you that time, too, didn’t I, grandsire?”

“Out of sight isn’t out of mind,” growled Bruin down the earth, and was wild with rage.