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36 The Fox as Keener 21. There lived and dwelt this old man and old woman, and they had a daughter. Once she was eating some beans and dropped one on the ground. The bean grew and grew and grew, right up to the sky. The old man climbed up to the sky. When he got up there, he walked and walked about, taking everything in, admiring it all, and he said to himself, “I’ll bring the old woman up here. She’ll really enjoy it.” He climbed back down to earth, put the old woman in a sack, put the sack in his teeth, and started climbing back up. He climbed and climbed and got tired, and then he dropped the sack. He went back down ever so quickly, opened the sack, and looked: There lay the old woman, gritting her teeth and with her eyes popped out. The old man said,“Why are you laughing, old woman? Why are you baring your teeth?”Then he saw that she was dead, and he broke down in tears. So he went on living all by himself, in the midst of a wasteland. There was no one to keen for the old lady. So the old man took a sack with three pairs of white hens and set off to seek a keener. He saw a bear coming along, and he said, “Oh bear, keen for my old woman! I’ll give you two pairs of white hens.” The bear roared:“Oh you, my dearest granny! How sorry I am about you.”“No, you don’t know how to keen,” said the old man. And he went on further. He walked and walked and met a wolf. He got him to try keening, but the wolf didn’t know how to. He went on further and met a fox, and he got her to keen for a pair of little white hens. She started singing: “Tra-tra-la, Granny! The old man has killed you.” The peasant liked the song, and he got the fox to sing it a second, third, and even fourth time. But then! For the fourth time he was short a pair of hens. The old man said,“Fox, oh fox! I left the fourth pair of hens at home; come to my house.” The fox trailed along after him. They came home, and the old man took a sack and put in it a pair of dogs, and on top of it the fox’s six pairs of hens, and he gave it to the fox. The fox took it and ran off.A little later, she stopped next to a stump and said, “I’ll sit on this stump and eat a white hen.” She ate it and ran on. Then she sat down on another stump and ate a second hen, and then a third, The Fox as Keener h 37 fourth, fifth, and sixth. She opened the sack for the seventh time, and the dogs jumped out at her. Did that fox run! She ran and ran and hid beneath a hollow log.When she had hidden, she asked,“Ears, little ears! What have you been doing?” “We’ve been listening, listening so that the dogs won’t eat up the fox!” “Eyes, little eyes! What have you been doing?” “We’ve been watching, watching so that the dogs won’t eat up the fox!” “Legs, little legs! What have you been doing?” “We’ve been running and running so that the dogs won’t catch the fox.” “And you, bushy tail, what have you done?” “I’ve been getting caught up by the stumps, by the bushes, by the hollow logs so that the dogs will catch the fox and tear her to bits!” “Oh, you so and so. Take that, dogs, and eat my tail!” And she stuck out her tail, and the dogs grabbed her by the tail and pulled out the fox and tore her to bits! 22. An old man and old woman had been living and dwelling there. The old woman died. The old man was really sorry, and he went out to search for a keener. He met up with a bear. “Where are you going, old man?” “To look for a keener, my old woman has died.” “Hire me as keener.” The old man asked,“Do you know how to keen?” He started in: “M, m, m, and yeow!” The old man said,“You...


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