Bowser The Hound by Thornton W. Burgess
Chapter XXXVI. Reddy Hides the Fat Hen
Dishonesty will run away Where Honesty will boldly stay. Bowser the Hound.
Reddy Fox was in a fix! He certainly was in a fix! Here he was with the fat hen which he had come such a long, long way to get, and no chance to eat it, for Bowser the Hound was on his trail. Ordinarily Reddy Fox can run faster than can Bowser, but it is one thing to run with nothing to carry, and another thing altogether to with a burden as heavy as a fat hen. Reddy's wits were working quite as fast as his legs.
"I can't carry this fat hen far," thought Reddy, "for Bowser will surely catch me. I don't want to drop it, because I have come such a long way to get it, and goodness knows when I will be able to catch another. The thing for me to do is to hide it where I can come back and get it after I get rid of that pesky dog. Goodness, what a noise he makes!"
As he ran, Reddy watched sharply this way and that way for a place to hide the fat hen. He knew he must find a place soon, because already that fat hen was growing very heavy. Presently he spied the hollow stump of a tree. He didn't know it was hollow when he first saw it, but from its looks he thought it might be. The top of it was only about two feet above the ground. Reddy stopped and stood up on his hind legs so as to see if the top of that stump was hollow. It was. With a quick look this way and that way to make sure he wasn't seen, he tossed the fat hen over into the hollow and then, with a sigh of relief, darted away.
With the weight of that fat hen off his shoulders, and the worry about it off his mind, Reddy could give all his attention to getting rid of Bowser the Hound. He had no intention of running any farther than he must. In the first place he had traveled so far that he did not feel like running. In the second place he wanted to get back to that hollow stump and the fat hen just as soon as possible.
It wasn't long before Reddy realized that it was not going to be so easy to fool Bowser the Hound. Bowser was too wise to be fooled by common tricks such as breaking the trail by jumping far to one side after running back on his own tracks a little way; or by running along a fallen tree and jumping from the end of it as far as he could. Of course he tried these tricks, but each time Bowser simply made a big circle with his nose to the ground and picked up Reddy's new trail.
Reddy didn't know that country about there at all, and little by little he began to realize how much this meant. At home he knew every foot of the ground for a long distance in every direction. This made all the difference in the world, because he knew just how to play all kinds of tricks. But here it was different. It seemed to him that all he could do was to run and run.