The Cat and The Fox.

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There was a man. This man had a cat, but this cat was such a trickster, it was terrible! The man grew dead tired of him. He thought about it a good long time, then he took the cat, put him in a bag, and took him to the forest. Once there, he just left the cat to fend for himself if he could.

The cat wandered and wandered for a long time, and came upon a small izba. He climbed into the attic and curled up there. When he got hungry, he would go out in the forest and catch a few birds and a few mice, eat his full, and climb back into the attic, and he was happy!

Once the cat went out for a walk, and saw the fox coming up. The fox saw the cat she was very puzzled: “I’ve lived many years in the forest, and I’ve never seen such an animal!”

She bowed to the cat, and asked him:

“Tell me, brave youth, who are you? How did you come into these parts, and what is your name?”

The cat puffed up his fur and said:

“My name is Kotofei Ivanovich, I hail from the Siberian forests, and I have been sent here to be your governor!”

“Oh, Kotofei Ivanovich!” the fox said, “I did not know about you, I had no idea! Well, won’t you come to my home.”

The cat went to the fox’s home. She took him to her den and began feeding him all sorts of game, and continued to ask him about himself.

“Kotofei Ivanovich, are you married or a bachelor?”

“A bachelor.”

“So am I! Won’t you marry me!”

The cat agreed, and they feasted and made merry.

The following day the fox set out to find more food, and the cat stayed home.

The fox spent all morning hunting, and finally caught a duck. She was carrying it home when she encountered the wolf.

“Stop, fox! Give me that duck!”

“Certainly not!”

“Then I’ll take it from you!”

“And I’ll tell Kotofei Ivanovich, he’ll execute you!”

“And who is this Kotofei Ivanovich?”

“Haven’t you heard? He was sent from the Siberian forests to be our governor! I used to be the fox maiden, but now I am the governor’s wife!”

“No, I hadn’t heard, Lizaveta Ivanovna. Could I take a look at him?”

“Oh, my Kotofei Ivanovich is so short-tempered: if someone displeases him, he’ll eat him right away! You had better get a ram and bring it to him as a welcoming gift: but be careful, put the ram in an open place, and hide yourself so that the cat doesn’t see you, or else, brother, woe will befall you!”

The wolf ran off to get a ram, and the fox went home.

On her way, she met the bear.

“Stop, fox! Give me that duck!”

“Certainly not!”

“Then I’ll take it from you!”

“And I’ll tell Kotofei Ivanovich, he’ll execute you!”

“And who is this Kotofei Ivanovich?”

“Haven’t you heard? He was sent from the Siberian forests to be our governor! I used to be the fox maiden, but now I am the governor’s wife!”

“No, I hadn’t heard, Lizaveta Ivanovna. Could I take a look at him?”

“Oh, my Kotofei Ivanovich is so short-tempered: if someone displeases him, he’ll eat him right away! You had better get a steer and to bring it to him as a welcoming gift: but be careful, put the ram in an open place, and hide yourself so that the cat doesn’t see you, or else, brother, woe will befall you!”

The bear ran off to get a steer, and the fox went home.

The wolf brought a ram, skinned it, and stood there, thinking. Who should he see, but the bear arriving with a steer on his back.

“Good day, Mikhailo Ivanovich!”

“Good day, brother Levon! Have you seen the fox and her husband?”

“No, Mikhailo, I’m waiting for them myself.”

“Why don’t you go up to their door and call them,” the bear said to the wolf.

“No, I won’t go, Mikhailo Ivanovich. I’m not very nimble, you’d better go.”

“No, I won’t go, I’m shaggy and pigeon-toed, I certainly can’t go!”

Suddenly, out of nowhere, a hare came running by.

The wolf and the bear yelled at him!

“Come right here, Cross-Eyes!”

The hare stopped dead in his tracks and flattened his ears.

“You’re nimble and fast on your feet: go run up to the fox’s den and tell her that the bear Mikhailo Ivanovich and brother Levon Ivanovich have been ready for some time, and are waiting for you and your husband, Kotofei Ivanovich, they’re bringing a ram and a steer as welcoming gifts.”

The hare ran as fast as he could to the fox’s den. Meanwhile, the bear and the wolf started thinking where they could hide.

The bear said: “I’ll climb on the pine-tree.”

The wolf answered: “How about me? I can’t climb on trees! Hide me somewhere.”

The bear hid the wolf in the bushes, covered him up with dry leaves, and climbed up on the pine tree, up to the very top, and kept watch for Kotofei Ivanovich and his wife.

Meanwhile, the hare arrived at the fox’s den.

“The bear Mikhailo Ivanovich and the wolf Levon Ivanovich sent me to tell you that they have been waiting for some time to see you and your husband, they want to offer a ram and a steer as welcoming gifts.

“Go on, Cross-Eyes, we’ll be right there.”

So the cat and the fox went out. The bear saw them and said to the wolf:

“What kind of a governor is this Kotofei Ivanovich, he’s so small!”

The cat jumped on the steer, puffed up his fur, and began tearing at the meat with his teeth and his paws, purring all the time and sounding angry:

“Meow, meow,” but the bear and the wolf heard “more, more.”

The bear said to the wolf:

“He may be small, but what a glutton! We couldn’t eat this meat between the four of us, and he says it’s not enough for him alone! He may yet get to us!”

The wolf wanted to take a good look at Kotofei Ivanovich, but he couldn’t see him through the leaves. So he started to push the leaves away carefully. The cat heard the leaves rustling, and thought it was a mouse, and jumped at the wolf! He landed right on his nose, and caught him with his claws!

The wolf was so frightened that he leapt away and ran off as fast as he could.

The cat was frightened, too, so he climbed up the tree where the bear was hiding.

“That’it,” the bear thought, “he saw me!”

There was no time to climb down. The bear just fell down, hurt his bottom, jumped up, and ran away as fast as he could.

The fox called after them:

“Run, run, or he might skin you yet!”

And from then on all the animals feared the cat. The cat and the fox, meanwhile, had enough meat for the whole winter, and they lived happily ever after, and still live there to this day.