72 – The Wolf and the Man

KHM 72 - The Wolf and the Man

A Fox was one day talking to a Wolf about the strength of man. “No animals,” he said, “could withstand Man, and they were obliged to use cunning to hold their own against him.”
The Wolf answered, “If ever I happen to see a Man, I should attack him all the same.”
“Well, I can help you to that,” said the Fox. “Come to me early tomorrow, and I will show you one!”
The Wolf was early astir, and the Fox took him out to a road in the forest, traversed daily by a Huntsman.
First came an old discharged soldier. “Is that a Man?” asked the Wolf. “No,” answered the Fox. “He has been a Man.”
After that a little boy appeared on his way to school. ‘Is that a Man?” “No; he is going to be a Man.”
At last the Huntsman made his appearance, his gun on his back, and his hunting-knife at his side. The Fox said to the Wolf, “Look! There comes a Man. You may attack him, but I will make off to my hole!”
The Wolf set on the Man, who said to himself when he saw him, “What a pity my gun isn’t loaded with ball,” and fired a charge of shot in the Wolf’s face. The Wolf made a wry face, but he was not to be so easily frightened, and attacked him again. Then the Huntsman gave him the second charge. The Wolf swallowed the pain, and rushed at the Huntsman. But the Man drew his bright hunting- knife, and hit out right and left with it, so that, streaming with blood, the Wolf ran back to the Fox.
“Well, brother Wolf,” said the Fox, “and how did you get on with the Man?”
“Alas!” said the Wolf. “I never thought the strength of man would be what it is. First, he took a stick from his shoulder, and blew into it, and something flew into my face, which tickled frightfully. Then he blew into it again, and it flew into my eyes and nose like lightning and hail. Then he drew a shining rib out of his body, and struck at me with it till I was more dead than alive.”
“Now, you see,” said the Fox, “what a braggart you are. You throw your hatchet so far that you can’t get it back again.”