Tell Me a Story

Once upon a time, a cat and a rooster lived in a little house with their friend, a young man named Serge. One day, Serge went out to the forest to gather wood for the stove because the evenings were growing cold.

The cat decided to follow him, and so the rooster stayed home alone.

As they were leaving, a fox happened past the hut. When he saw that Serge and the cat were departing, he sat beneath the windowsill. When they were out of earshot, the fox began to sing: "Dear rooster, with your beautiful comb of gold, you are so strong and so bold! Look out the window, won't you, my sweet? And you'll receive a delicious treat."

The rooster was always hungry, and he loved treats, so he pushed open the window and looked out to see who was calling him. The fox at once seized him and began to carry him away.

"Save me, I beg and pray!" he cried to the cat. "The fox is taking me away. We're heading beyond the dark islands, beyond the green trees, beyond the endlessly wide seas to the thrice-ten lands."

The cat was very sensitive to her friend's needs, and she heard the rooster's cries and began to run after the fox. She followed his scent, running as fast as she could. To the rooster's delight, the cat caught up with them and snagged the rooster out of the fox's arms. Then she carried the rooster back home.

"Rooster, you must take care," the cat explained to her friend. "Never believe what the fox tells you. Never look out the window when I'm away. That fox will eat you up -- bones, feathers and everything!"

"I'll be careful, I promise!" the rooster told the cat.

The next day, Serge told the rooster to watch over the house and not to look out the window while he was gone. Once again, he went into the forest to chop wood. The cat saw it was a pretty day, and so she followed Serge.

As she left, the cat reminded the rooster: "Don't forget our warning; we'll be back."

The fox, who was longing to eat that rooster, waited for Serge and the cat to disappear. Then he trotted up to the house and sang: "Come out, rooster, with your comb of gold. You, who are strong and so bold. Look out the window, won't you, my sweet? I promise I'll give you a wonderful treat made of wheat!"

For a long time, the rooster ignored the fox's words, but the fox kept singing and then he tossed some wheat through the window. The rooster sat up tall and ran to the window and cried, "You can't fool me! I know you're only planning to eat me. I'm no fool!"

"Don't be silly," the fox answered. "Why would I eat you? I think you're wonderful, and I'm so lonely. Come to my house and see all the fine treats I have. I have sweets, and I have wheat. I have cheese, and I have peas."

The rooster's mouth began to water. He couldn't resist. He peered out the window, and whoosh! The fox had him in his grasp.

"Save me, cat!" the rooster cried. "I beg and pray you'll save me as the fox is dragging me into the valley and into the groves, into an alley and where the wild wind roves!"

The cat heard the rooster and ran after the fox and nabbed her friend out of the fox's clutches and carried him back home.

"Didn't I tell you not to look out of the window?" she asked. "You'll have to learn your lesson, for tomorrow Serge and I are going much deeper into the woods."

"I've learned! I've learned!" the rooster crowed.

The next day, Serge and the cat were deep in the forest when the fox crept up to the window and began to sing his song. He sang it three times, but the rooster did not respond.

At last, the fox cried, "What's wrong with you, rooster? Are you deaf? Are you dumb? Wouldn't you like to eat a sweet, pretty plum?"

"You can't fool me!" the rooster crowed, but the fox tossed a plum through the window and sang, "Dear rooster, with your comb of gold. You are so strong and so bold. Look out the window, won't you please? With that sweet plum, I'll give you fresh cheese!"

"And that isn't all," the fox continued. "I have many more treasures. If I had wanted to eat you, I'd have done that long ago. I like you. I only want to feed you treats and teach you the ways of the world. Unlike your cat friend, I wouldn't leave you all alone. Come on, won't you please look out the window? Since you're so afraid, I'll go around the corner."

With those words, the fox squeezed himself against the wall.

The rooster jumped up and peeked out the window. Not seeing the fox and wanting to know where he was, the rooster stuck his head out the window. The fox quickly seized him. The rooster called to the cat, begging for help, but this time the cat was too deep in the forest and did not hear him.

The fox carried the rooster behind a clump of trees and ate him up, leaving nothing but a few bones and feathers that blew away.

When Serge and the cat came home, the rooster was gone. Alarmed, they searched for him until they found the bones of their friend.

They were so sad, they could barely speak. Finally, the cat said, "That is what happens when you don't listen to the ones who love you."

"Tell Me a Story 3: Women of Wonder," the third CD in the audiobook series, is now available. For more information, please visit www.mythsandtales.com.

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