Adventures of Reddy Fox
by Burgess

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Etext scanned by Dianne Bean of Phoenix, Arizona.





THE ADVENTURES OF REDDY FOX

BY THORNTON W. BURGESS



I. Granny Fox Gives Reddy a Scare

Reddy Fox lived with Granny Fox. You see, Reddy was one of a
large family, so large that Mother Fox had hard work to feed so
many hungry little mouths and so she had let Reddy go to live
with old Granny Fox. Granny Fox was the wisest, slyest, smartest
fox in all the country round, and now that Reddy had grown so
big, she thought it about time that he began to learn the things
that every fox should know. So every day she took him hunting
with her and taught him all the things that she had learned about
hunting: about how to steal Farmer Brown's chickens without
awakening Bowser the Hound, and all about the thousand and one
ways of fooling a dog which she had learned.

This morning Granny Fox had taken Reddy across the Green Meadows,
up through the Green Forest, and over to the railroad track.
Reddy had never been there before and he didn't know just what
to make of it. Granny trotted ahead until they came to a long
bridge. Then she stopped.

"Come here, Reddy, and look down," she commanded.

Reddy did as he was told, but a glance down made him giddy, so
giddy that he nearly fell. Granny Fox grinned.

"Come across," said she, and ran lightly across to the other
side.

But Reddy Fox was afraid. Yes, Sir, he was afraid to take one
step on the long bridge. He was afraid that he would fall through
into the water or onto the cruel rocks below. Granny Fox ran back
to where Reddy sat.

"For shame, Reddy Fox!" said she. "What are you afraid of? Just
don't look down and you will be safe enough. Now come along over
with me."

But Reddy Fox hung back and begged to go home and whimpered.
Suddenly Granny Fox sprang to her feet, as if in great fright.
"Bowser the Hound! Come, Reddy, come!" she cried, and started
across the bridge as fast as she could go.

Reddy didn't stop to look or to think. His one idea was to get
away from Bowser the Hound. "Wait, Granny! Wait!" he cried, and
started after her as fast as he could run. He was in the middle
of the bridge before he remembered it at all. When he was at last
safely across, it was to find old Granny Fox sitting down
laughing at him. Then for the first time Reddy looked behind him
to see where Bowser the Hound might be. He was nowhere to be
seen. Could he have fallen off the bridge?

"Where is Bowser the Hound?" cried Reddy.

"Home in Farmer Brown's dooryard," replied Granny Fox dryly.
Reddy stared at her for a minute. Then he began to understand
that Granny Fox had simply scared him into running across the
bridge. Reddy felt very cheap, very cheap indeed. "Now we'll run
back again," said Granny Fox. And this time Reddy did.



II. Granny Shows Reddy a Trick

Every day Granny Fox led Reddy Fox over to the long railroad
bridge and made him run back and forth across it until he had no
fear of it whatever. At first it had made him dizzy, but now he
could run across at the top of his speed and not mind it in the
least. "I don't see what good it does to be able to run across a
bridge; anyone can do that!" exclaimed Reddy one day.