There was once a Crane who met a Fox in the forest.
"Take me in for the winter, Fox, and I'll teach you to fly," said the Crane.
The Fox agreed, and the two of them settled down together in the Fox’s hole.
Some hunters learned about it and began digging up the ground near the hole to try and get at them.
"What are we to do, Crane? How are we to save ourselves?" asked the Fox. "Can you think of something?"
"I can think of ten different ways of doing it," the Crane replied.
"How many can you think of?"
"One, only one."
The Fox kept asking the Crane the same question over and over again, and the second time he replied to it he said he could think of only nine ways, the third time, of eight, and so on.
The hunters were getting closer and closer all the time and when they were very close the Fox asked her question again.
"I can think of only one way of you and me saving ourselves, Fox,” the Crane said.
"Well, tell me what it is.”
"I am going to lie down inside the hole close to the top and pretend to be dead. This will puzzle the hunters who will pick me up and look me over, and it is then that you must make a run for it. They will rush after you, and I will fly away."
The Fox said she thought it was a very good plan, and when the hunters who had never stopped digging, got to the top of the hole, they were much surprised to find the Crane there lying quite still. Thinking he was dead, they picked him up and looked him over.
"Think of that!" they said. "The Fox has killed a crane. Let's dig deeper to get at the Fox."
But even before they had finished speaking the Fox rushed out of the hole and away through the trees, and the Crane flapped his wings and flew up into the sky!
"Yoo-hoo, Crane!'' called the Fox.
"Yoo-hoo, Fox!" called the Crane.
"Where are you, Crane?" called the Fox.
"Here I am, Fox!" called the Crane.
They came together again, and the Fox said:
"You must teach me to fly now, Crane, for having taken you in for the winter. It's what you promised you'd do."
"Very well," the Crane said. "Get on my back!"
The Fox got on his back, and the Crane rose with her to the level of a low rooftop and then dropped her. The Fox fell to the ground, but was unhurt.
"How do you like flying, Fox?" the Crane called.
"Very much. It’s fun!" the Fox called back.
The Crane lighted beside her.
"Get on my back again, Fox," he said.
The Fox got on his back, and the Crane rose as high as the clouds, so that the two of them could hardly be seen from below, and then let her drop.
"How do you like flying, Fox?" he called.
There was no reply, so he flew down himself, and there was the Fox lying still on the ground. She was quite dead.
The Crane heaved a sigh, and, leaving her there, flew away.