Bowser The Hound by Thornton W. Burgess
Chapter XXIX. Reddy Tries to Arouse Blacky's Pity
Trust a Fox only as far as you can see him, and lock the chickens up before you do that. Bowser the Hound.
All the next night, as Reddy Fox hunted and hunted for something to eat, he kept thinking of that dream of fat hens, and he kept wondering how he could get Blacky the Crow to tell him just where that farm with fat hens was. Blacky on his part had spent a whole day wondering how he could induce Reddy Fox to make that long journey over to where Bowser the Hound was a prisoner of kindness. Blacky was smart enough to know that if he seemed too anxious for Reddy to make that long journey, Reddy would at once suspect something. He knew well enough that if Reddy had any idea that Bowser the Hound was over there, nothing would tempt him to make the trip.
Early the next morning, just as on the morning before, Blacky stopped over by Reddy's house. This time Reddy was already home. Actually he was waiting for Blacky, though he wouldn't have had Blacky know it for the world. As soon as he saw Blacky coming, he lay down on his doorstep and pretended not to see Blacky at all.
"Good morning, Reddy," said Blacky, as he alighted in the top of a little tree close by.
Reddy raised his head as if it were all he could do to lift it. "Good morning, Blacky," said he in a feeble voice.
Blacky looked at him sharply. "What's the matter, Reddy?" he demanded. "You seem to be feeling badly."
Reddy sighed. It was a long, doleful sigh. "I am feeling badly, Blacky," said he. "I never felt worse in my life. The truth is I--I--I--" Reddy paused.
"You what?" demanded Blacky, looking at Reddy more sharply than ever.
"I am starving," said Reddy very feebly. "I certainly shall starve to death unless I can find some way of getting at least one good meal soon. You have no idea, Blacky, how dreadful it is to be hungry all the time." Again Reddy sighed, and followed this with a second sigh and then a third sigh.
Blacky looked behind him so that Reddy might not see the twinkle in his eyes. For Blacky understood perfectly what Reddy was trying to do. Reddy wasn't fooling him a bit. When he looked back at Reddy he was very grave. He was doing his best to look very sympathetic.
"I'm right sorry to hear this, Reddy," said he. "I certainly am. I've been hungry myself more than once. It seems a pity that you should be starving here when over on that farm I told you about yesterday are fat hens to be had for the taking. If you were not so weak, I would be tempted to show you where they are."