"Hanen og reven" is a Norwegian fairy tale
from Asbjørnsen and Moe
's Norwegian Folk Tales
(1841-1844). As usual, the original, Norwegian text is taken from Project Runeberg
and translated to English
especially for E2
Note: the fox in Norwegian fairy tales is commonly called Mikkel Rev (Michael the Fox?). WWWWolf tells me that in Finnish he is called Mikko Repolainen.
There was once a cock on a pile of dung, crowing and flapping its wings. Then the fox came over.
"Hello!" said the fox. "I heard you crowing," he said, "but can you stand on one leg and crow and blink, like your father could?" said Mikkel.
"I can do that easily," said the cock, and stood on one leg, but he only closed one eye, and when he had done that, he swaggered and beat his wings, as if he had done something great.
"That was beautiful," said the fox; "it is almost as beautiful as when the priest says mass in church. But can you also stand on one leg, crow and close both eyes at once? I hardly think you can!" said Mikkel. "No, your father was some man," he said.
"Oh, I believe I can as well, said the cock, and stood on one leg, closed both eyes and crowed. Whoosh! the fox was upon him, took him over the neck and threw him over his back, so he couldn't crow, and ran into the forest as quickly as Mikkel could run.
When they stopped under an old spruce, Mikkel threw the cock on the ground, placed his foot on its chest and wanted a taste.
"You are not as pious, Mikkel, as your father was," said the cock; "he crossed himself and prayed for his food," he said.
Well, Mikkel wanted to be pious - of course. So he let go and was about to put his paws in a cross and pray. Zip! the cock flew up in a tree.
"Your not let off that easily," said Mikkel to himself; he went away and came back with a piece of wood from the lumberjacks. The cock was looking and looking, trying to see what it was.
"What do you have there?" he asked.
"It's a letter I got from the pope in Rome," said the fox; "do you want to help me read it? I'm not so good with letters, myself."
"I'd love to, but I don't dare to now," said the cock. "There's a hunter coming; I see 'm, I see 'm!" he said.
When the fox heard the cock crowing about the hunter, he ran off as quickly as he could.
This time the cock was the clever fox.
More fairy tales, please!