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85 The Wolf Is a Fool 55. In this one village there lived and dwelt a peasant and he had a dog. The dog had guarded his house since it was young, but then came difficult old age, and it ceased barking. The master grew tired of the dog. So then he got ready, took a rope, fastened it to the dog’s neck, and led it into the forest . He led it to an aspen and was about to strangle it, when he saw that bitter tears were flowing over the muzzle of the old dog, and he took pity. He relented and tied the dog to the aspen and then set off home. The poor hound was left in the forest and began crying and cursing its fate. Suddenly out of the bushes came a huge wolf that saw it and said, “Greetings, mottled dog! I’ve been waiting for a long time to invite you to be my guest. In the past you’ve often chased me away from your house, but this time you’ve fallen to me. I’ll do what I like with you. I’ll pay you back for everything!” “And what, gray wolf, do you want to do to me?” “Not a lot. I’ll eat you with all your hide and bones.” “Oh, you foolish gray wolf! You’re so fat that you don’t know yourself what you are doing. After tasty beef you’d want to eat old and poor dog meat? Why should you break your old teeth on me to no purpose? My meat is now like a rotten log. Let me give you some better instruction: Go and fetch me about three poods of good mare’s meat; fatten me up a little, and then do with me what you please.” The wolf heeded the dog and went and dragged up half a mare:“Here’s your beef for you! Just you look to it and get stronger.” He said that and went away. The dog began picking at the meat and ate it all. After two days, the great fool came again and said to the dog, “Well, Brother, are you in good shape or not?”“I’ve recovered a little, but if you were to bring me some old sheep, my meat would be ever so much sweeter!” The wolf agreed to this, ran out into the steppe, lay down in a hollow, and began watching to see when the shepherd would drive his flock by. The shepherd drove his flock, and the wolf picked out a sheep from behind a bush, one that was fatter and larger. He leapt out and attacked it. He grabbed it by the scruff of its neck and dragged it to the dog.“Here’s your sheep, now get strong!” 86 h The Wolf Is a Fool So the dog began getting stronger. He ate the sheep and felt strength in himself. The wolf came and asked,“Well, Brother, how are you now?” “I’m still a little weak. If you were to bring me a boar, then I’d really fatten up, just like a pig!” The wolf got the boar, brought it, and said, “This is the last time! In two days I’ll come visiting you.”“Oh, all right,” thought the dog,“and I’ll deal with you.” In two days, the wolf came back to the well-fed dog, but the hound saw it and began barking at it.“Oh, you vile bitch,” said the gray wolf, “do you now dare to scold me?” And the wolf then rushed at the dog and was about to tear it to pieces. But the dog had gathered its strength already and reared up on its hind legs and started in treating the wolf such that only bits and pieces of fur flew. The wolf tore away and quickly ran off. It ran off a little way further and was about to stop there, when it heard the baying of hounds and so set off again. It ran to the forest, lay down beneath a bush, and began licking the wounds he had received from the dog.“Oh, how that vile bitch deceived me!” said the wolf to himself.“Just wait, whatever chances into my clutches won’t escape my teeth!” The wolf licked his wounds and went out after prey. He looked, and there on a hill stood a large billy goat. The wolf went up...


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