Mikko the Fox – Adventure I: The Animals Take a Bite

Parker Fillmore July 30, 2015
Finnish
Easy
5 min read
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    Farmer once dug a pit to trap the Animals that had been stealing his grain. By a strange chance he fell into his own pit and was killed.

    The Ermine found him there.

    “H’m,” thought the Ermine, “that’s the Farmer himself, isn’t it? I better take him before any one else gets him.”

    So the Ermine dragged the Farmer’s body out of the pit, put it on a sledge, and then, after taking a bite, began hauling it away.

    Presently he met the Squirrel who clapped his hands in surprise.

    “God bless you, brother!” the Squirrel exclaimed, “what’s that you’re hauling behind you?”

    “It’s the Farmer himself,” the Ermine explained. “He fell into the pit that he had digged for us poor forest folk and serve him right, too! Take a bite of him and then come along and help me pull.”

    “Very well,” the Squirrel said.

    He took a bite of the Farmer and then marched along beside the Ermine, helping him to pull the sledge.

    Presently they met Jussi, the Hare. Jussi looked at them in amazement, his eyes popping out of his head.

    “Mercy me!” he cried, “what’s that you two are hauling?”

    “It’s the Farmer,” the Ermine explained. “He fell into the pit that he digged for us poor forest folk and serve him right, too! Take a bite of him, Jussi, and then come along and help us pull.”

    So Jussi, the Hare, took a bite of the Farmer and then marched along beside the Ermine and the Squirrel helping them to pull the sledge.

    Next they met Mikko, the Fox.

    “Goodness me!” Mikko said, “what’s that you three are hauling?”

    The Ermine again explained:

    “It’s the Farmer. He fell into the pit that he had digged for us poor forest folk and serve him right, too! Take a bite of him, Mikko, and then come along and help us pull.”

    So Mikko, the Fox, took a bite and then marched along beside the Ermine and the Squirrel and the Hare helping them to pull the sledge.

    Next they met Pekka, the Wolf.

    “Good gracious!” Pekka cried, “what’s that you four are hauling?”

    The Ermine explained:

    “It’s the Farmer. He fell into the pit that he had digged for us poor forest folk and serve him right, too! Take a bite of him, Pekka, and then help us pull.”

    So Pekka, the Wolf, took a bite and then marched along beside the Ermine, the Squirrel, the Hare, and the Fox, helping them to pull the sledge.

    Next they met Osmo, the Bear.

    “Good heavens!” Osmo rumbled, “what’s that you five are hauling?”

    “It’s the Farmer,” the Ermine explained. “He fell into the pit that he had digged for us poor forest folk and serve him right, too! Take a bite of him, Osmo, and then help us pull.”

    So Osmo, the Bear, took a bite and then marched along beside the Ermine, the Squirrel, the Hare, the Fox, and the Wolf, helping them to pull the sledge.

    Well, they pulled and they pulled and whenever they felt tired or hungry they stopped and took a bite until the Farmer was about finished.

    Then Pekka, the Wolf, said:

    “See here, brothers, we’ve eaten up every bit of the Farmer except his beard. What are we going to eat now?”

    Osmo, the Bear, grunted out:

    “Huh! That’s easy! We’ll eat the smallest of us next!”

    He had no sooner spoken than the Squirrel ran up a tree and the Ermine slipped under a stone.

    Pekka, the Wolf said:

    “But the smallest have escaped!”

    Osmo, the Bear, grunted again:

    “Huh! The smallest now is that pop-eyed Jussi! Let’s—”

    At mention of his name the Hare went loping across the field and was soon at a safe distance.

    Osmo, the Bear, put his heavy paw on the Fox’s shoulder.

    “Mikko,” he said, “it’s your turn now for you’re the smallest of us three.”

    Mikko, the Fox, pretended not to be at all afraid.

    “That’s true,” he said, “I’m the smallest. All right, brothers, I’m ready. But before you eat me I wish you’d take me to the top of the hill. Down here in the valley it’s so gloomy.”

    “Very well,” the others agreed, “we’ll go where you say. It is more cheerful there.”

    As they climbed the hill the Fox whispered to the Wolf:

    “Sst! Pekka! When you eat me whose turn will it be then? Who will be the smallest then?”

    “Mercy me!” the Wolf cried, “it will be my turn then, won’t it?”

    The terror of the thought quite took his appetite away.

    “See here, Osmo,” he said to the Bear, “I don’t think it would be right for us to eat Mikko. You and I and Mikko ought to be friends and live together in peace. Now let’s take a vote on the matter and we’ll do whatever the majority says. I vote that we three be friends. What do you say, Mikko?”

    The Fox said that he agreed with the Wolf. It would be much better all around if they three were friends.

    “Well,” grunted Osmo, the Bear, “it’s no use my voting for you two make a majority. But I must say I’m sorry to have you vote this way for I’m hungry.”

    So the three animals, the Bear, the Wolf, and the Fox, agreed henceforward to be friends and planned to live near each other in the woods behind the Farm.

    Note: The story continues in Mikko the Fox-Adventure II: The Partners

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