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72
PORTUGUESE FAIRY TALES.

wood fire; and we can afterwards both enjoy it together in safety somewhere else."

The wolf, completely duped, innocently agreed to the proposition; and on approaching the men they instantly chased him, armed with flails and sticks, while the fox, making the best of the occasion, put her head inside the pot and devoured as much as she possibly could of the savoury mess of rice, and before she left the spot she broke the pot into pieces and dispersed the remainder of the rice in all directions. She then went to meet the wolf, and, as she approached him, said in a tone of much concern, "Well, neighbour, how did you fare with the men?"

"You may well ask me how I fared with the men, don't you see me out of breath. I had to run to save my life, for they ran after me, ready to strike me down with their sticks and flails, and now I feel nearly dead with exhaustion. Pray, do not give me such another job again."

"I daresay you are very tired after your run and fright; but what is that to what I have had to endure? Only look at me and see how the men, knocking my poor head about, have succeeded in extracting my brains."

What the fox called her brains were the grains of rice that stuck to her head after her dip into the savoury mess.