The woodcutter and the fox
(Favourite stories from Chinese)
A pack of dogs chased a fox up a hill. It rain into a woodcutter’s hut.
“Help! Help!” the fox cried out. “Mr. Woodcutter, please let me hide in your hut. I’m afraid the dogs will catch me and eat me up,” he bowed deeply to the woodcutter.
“All right,” the woodcutter replied. “You can hide in the small room at the back of my hut. But be quick!” the woodcutter opened the door of the room and the fox hid himself inside.
A short while afterwards, a hunter arrived carrying a gun. He was followed by the pack of dogs.
“Ah, Mr. Woodcutter,” the hunter said, “we are looking for a fox. We chased it up the hill but it has now disappeared. Have you seen it?”
“No,” answered the woodcutter. But at the same time, he pointed towards the small room the back of the hut.
Fortunately, the hunter did not understand what he meant.
“Thank you very much, Mr. Woodcutter,” he said. “We shall have to look elsewhere.”
As soon as the hunter and his dogs had left, the fox came out of the room. He walked out of the front door without saying a word.
“Where are you going?” the woodcutter called out. “You’re a fine fellow! I saved your life and you don’t even stop to thank me.”
“Your words sound fine,” the fox said. “but your heart is evil. You say you want to help me, but you really want to harm me. How can I feel grateful to you?”