The Adventures of Reddy Fox by Thornton W. Burgess
XXIV. Granny and Reddy Have To Move
"I don't want to move," whined Reddy Fox. "I'm too sore to walk."
Old Granny Fox gave him a shove. "You go along and do as I say!" she snapped. "If you had minded me, we wouldn't have to move. It's all your own fault. The wonder is that you weren't killed when you poked your head out right in front of Farmer Brown's boy. Now that he knows where we live, he will give us no peace. Move along lively now! This is the best home I have ever had, and now I've got to leave it. Oh dear! Oh dear!"
Reddy Fox hobbled along up the long hall and out the front door. He was walking on three legs, and at every step he made a face because, you know, it hurt so to walk.
The little stars, looking down from the sky, saw Reddy Fox limp out the door of the house he had lived in so long, and right behind him came old Granny Fox. Granny sighed and wiped away a tear, as she said good-by to her old home. Reddy Fox was thinking too much of his own troubles to notice how badly Granny Fox was feeling. Every few steps he had to sit down and rest because it hurt him so to walk.
"I don't see the use of moving tonight, anyway. It would be a lot easier and pleasanter when the sun is shining. This night air makes me so stiff that I know I never will get over it," grumbled Reddy Fox.
Old Granny Fox listened to him for a while, and then she lost patience. Yes, Sir, Granny Fox lost patience. She boxed Reddy Fox first on one ear and then on the other. Reddy began to snivel.
"Stop that!" said Granny Fox sharply. "Do you want all the neighbors to know that we have got to move? They'll find it out soon enough. Now come along without any more fuss. If you don't, I'll just go off and leave you to shift for yourself. Then how will you get anything to eat?"
Reddy Fox wiped his eyes on his coat sleeve and hobbled along as best he could. Granny Fox would run a little way ahead to see that the way was safe and then come back for Reddy. Poor Reddy. He did his best not to complain, but it was such hard work. And somehow Reddy Fox didn't believe that it was at all necessary. He had been terribly frightened when he had disobeyed Granny Fox that afternoon and put his head out the door, only to look right into the freckled face of Farmer Brown's boy. He had ducked back out of sight again too quickly for Farmer Brown's boy to shoot, and now he couldn't see why old Granny Fox wanted to move that very night.
"She's getting old. She's getting old and timid and fussy," muttered Reddy Fox, as he hobbled along behind her.
It seemed to Reddy as if they had walked miles and miles. He really thought that they had been walking nearly all night when old Granny Fox stopped in front of the worst-looking old fox house Reddy had ever seen.
"Here we are!" said she.
"What! Are we going to live in that thing?" cried Reddy. "It isn't fit for any respectable fox to put his nose into."
"It is where I was born!" snapped old Granny Fox. "If you want to keep out of harm's way, don't go to putting on airs now.
"Who scorns the simple things of life And tilts his nose at all he sees, Is almost sure to feel the knife Of want cut through his pleasant ease.
"Now don't let me hear another word from you, but get inside at once!"
Reddy Fox didn't quite understand all Granny Fox said, but he knew when she was to be obeyed, and so he crawled gingerly through the broken-down doorway.