Wolf and Fox (Finland)
(c) Kevin Strauss 2002

One day, Wolf and Fox were running through the forest, chasing a rabbit. The rabbit dodged this way and that and wolf had almost caught up with it when “crash” he and fox fell into a deep, dark pit.

“Ah, this is all your fault,” said Wolf, “if you had been watching where we were going, we would have never fallen into this pit.”

Fox looked over at his dirt-covered friend.

“Uh, I don’t think so, Wolf. You have eyes, too, and besides, you were ahead of me, I could barely see past your big gray tail, as we were running,” said Fox.

“Well, how do you think we should get out of here, Fox?” said Wolf.

“Oh, I’ve got lots of ideas, lots of ideas, let’s see, how about we jump. Yes, jumping is one thing that foxes do best,” said Fox.

Each of them tried to jump out of the pit, but it was too deep. After jumping a few times, they noticed that the dark night sky was turning gray. That gave Fox an idea.

“Hey wolf, it looks like the sun is rising, but I can’t tell from the bottom of this pit. Could you stand on your hind legs and look to see if the sun is rising?” said Fox.

“Uh, sure Fox. But why does it matter if the sun is rising?”

But before Wolf could finish that sentence, Fox had leapt onto Wolf’s shoulders and jumped out of the pit.

“Hey, what are you doing, leaving without me?” said Wolf.

“Well, I said that I had lots of ideas. That was just another one of them. Of course, I hadn’t thought of how to get you out of the pit, but I figured that I could think much better out here in the open,” said Fox.

“Say, Fox, I never was able to see if the sun was rising. Now that you are up there, could you tell me if you see it,” said Wolf.

Without thinking, Fox sat down with his back to the edge of the pit and looked to the east. As he sat there, Fox’s long tail dangled into the pit. Wolf wasted no time jumping up to bite Fox’s tail and pull him back into the pit.

“Hey! What do you think you’re doing, pulling me back into the pit?” said Fox.

“Don’t blame me. I was lonely. Besides, if one of us is going to get out, we both have to get out,” said Wolf, “now lets both think of a way we can both escape.”

The two creatures glared at each other for an hour as the sun rose in the sky. Then Fox said, “who do you think dug this pit?”

“It must have been a man. Only people can dig pits this straight and deep,” said Wolf.

“Well then, I have an idea,” said Fox.

He whispered his idea into Wolf’s ear, and then the two of them fell to the ground as if they were dead.

Shortly after the sun rose, a hunter came to the forest to check his pit traps.

“Ah, two nice-looking pelts,” he said rubbing his hands together.

The hunter poked each of the animals with a stick, but they didn’t move, so he lowered a rope and climbed down into the pit. He picked up the Fox first and lifted it out the pit, but just as he set Fox on the ground above the pit he felt teeth bite into his hand.

“Ow!” he yelled, bending over and rubbing his hand. Then before he knew it, the man felt the wolf jump on his back and leap out of the pit. Wolf and Fox ran into the safety of the woods.

From then on even though Fox would play tricks on Wolf, they were still the best of friends.