One day a fox saw a burbot lying on a river bank. He lay by a stone and never stirred.
"Are you asleep or just lying there, burbot?" asked the fox. "I've been told that you can not run."
"I can run no worse than you," the burbot replied.
"What a braggart you are! Let's run upstream to the river head, you'll be left behind soon enough."
To this the burbot agreed, and the fox said that she would pause at the river's every bend and call to him.
"Be sure to reply to me," said she. "I have to know where you are."
"All right," said the burbot. Let's go!"
There was nothing more to wait for, so off they started. The fox ran along the bank, the burbot swam up the river, and the two of them made so much noise that it carried all over.
Now, the fox wanted to trick the burbot and get ahead of him. So, with that in mind, she left the winding bank and took a short cut straight across the point. She knew that the river had many twists and turns, but what she did not know was that from mouth head it teemed with burbots.
The burbot swam a little way up the river, and, seeing a friend of his, asked him to pass on to a living upstream that he and the fox were running a race and that when they heard the fox calling "Where are you, burbot? they were to call back "Here I am!"
The fox, who was always tricking now the glutton and now the wolf, was bent on tricking the burbot. But she was still far away, and already the burbat's friends were waiting for her. She ran out on to a sand bar.
"Where are you burbot?" she called.
"Here I am!" came the reply.
It was not the burbot she was racing who answered her but a friend of his further upstream, but how was she to know it!
Off ran the fox again straight across the forest and she never stopped till she reached the river's bend.
"Where are you, burbot?" she called.
"Here I am!" came the reply.
The burbot had got ahead of her again, the fox saw, and she ran faster in order to overtake him. But no matter where she paused or from what spot she called to him, she found that the burbot's reply always came from somewhere ahead of her.
The fox would not give in. She found another road that led to the river head, one that was even shorter, and she ran along it as fast as she could.
She heard the river gurgling somewhere very close, and she ran toward it, telling herself that surely this time she would have left the burbot behind.
"Where are you, burbot?" she cried.
"Here I am, fox! You do take a long time running!" came the reply.
The fox looked, and there, just ahead of her, lying on his side in the stream, was the burbot!
And ever since everyone has been calling the fox a braggart, while the river where the race was run is known to this day by the name of Burbot River. For, you see, the fox can fool all the fishes and all the animals, but she cannot fool the burbot.