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The Wolf

wolf1When the wolf had eaten the six yeanlings, he felt his stomach so heavy, he went to take a nap behind the well.

He forgot to eat the seventh yeanling, who had hidden under the bed. Also, when the goat mother returned from the market with a basket on her arm, it was this yeanling who told her that the wolf had eaten his six younger brothers.

Ah! my children! my dear children!“quavered the goat wiping her eyes with a corner of her apron.

But, regaining his courage, she took her youngest by the hand and began looking for the wolf. It was not long in finding him sleeping soundly behind the well and snoring with all his might.

Wait, thief!” said the goat mother; “you’ll see!

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And drawing from her basket a kitchen knife, at once she splits the wolf’s stomach throughout its length, and the six yeanlings jump to the neck of their mother. Because the wolf had swallowed them so greedily, that he had not taken the time to chew and they were still alive.

The goat and yeanlings laughed and cried together for a moment; then the mother said:

It’s not all! Go quickly and get me six large stones. I will put in your place in the belly of the wolf, and I will sew up his skin. As he does perceive anything upon waking.

When all was finished, the mother and children were hiding, to see what would do the wolf.

After a moment, he woke up, rubbed his eyes and felt his stomach.

As it is hard!” he growled. “No doubt I have not digested well. Ah! I know, I forgot to drink.

And standing up, he went to the well. In her womb, the six stones made a strange noise.

I really do not know what bangs like that in my stomach,” said the wolf.

And he bent to drink.

But this movement threw stones one on another in the stomach of the wolf, their weight dragged him forward, and the old robber fell upside down in the bottom of the well.

Then the goat and her yeanlings danced around the well a joyful round.

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(Translated and adapted from ABC – Petits Contes, by Jules Lemaître)

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