There was once a raven who was Sitting by his nest on the branch of a tree one day, a piece of meat in his mouth, when a fox came up to the tree.
"How handsome you are, so dark and sleek!" said she to the raven. And you must sing well too. I'd love to hear you!"
These words pleased the raven. He gave a croak, the piece of meat dropped out of his mouth, and the fox snatched it up and ate it.
"I'll eat up one of your chicks too," said the fox.
"No, you won't!" said the raven. "You'll never be able to fool me any more. And besides, how wiIl you climb the tree?"
"Why should I climb it?" the fox brought out. "I'll chop it down with an axe, that's what I'll do. Here's the axe, see?" And she pointed at her tail and struck the tree with it.
The raven was frightened. He begged the fox not to chop down the tree and himself threw her one of his chicks. The fox ate it and went away, and the raven sat on the tree branch and Wept.
Just then a little white bird came flying up.
"Why are you crying, raven?" it asked. The raven told it what the fox had done and how he had given his chick to her, and the bird said:
"I never knew you were so foolish, raven! That was no axe the fox struck the tree with, that her tail. She couldn't have done you any harm. Why did you give up your chick to her?"
Some time passed, and the fox came to hear what the little white bird had said to the raven.
"You wait, I'll pay you back, little bird!" said she.
One day she lay resting in the woods when the little white bird flew up to her and perched nearby.
"I'm glad to see you." the fox said. "I have fleas in my head. I wish you'd pick them out for me."
Knowing the fox to be very sly, the little white bird dared not come close and began hopping and skipping about a little distance away from her.
Said the fox:
"It's silly to be afraid when you're so quick and nimble. Come, perch on my head and see if you can find the fleas."
The bird thought it over, and then it settled on the back of the fox's head and began picking out the fleas with its beak.
The fox saw that she would be hard put to it to catch the bird. So she stretched out her front pows and laid her head on them.
"Come little bird, perch there!" said she, pointing at the tip of her nose.
The little bird perched on the fox's nose, but when the fox lifted one of her paws and made to catch it, away it flew, losing one of its feathers as it did so. This clung to the fox's breast and stained it, and that is why the fur on the fox's breast is white.