Not On The Menu

The vulture wheeled idly in the air; he suddenly discovered a carcass lying below. “Good heavens,” he exclaimed. “It looks like Brer Fox. A pity he is dead. But what a lovely feast he will make.”

Alighting on the ground, the vulture hopped closer to this inviting meal, only to jump back in dismay when Brer Fox lifted his head and regarded the vulture with a baleful eye.

“I am not dead yet, you scavenger,” he growled. “I am just waiting for that rabbit to come out of that hole in the tree.”

“A rabbit!” said the vulture excitedly. “I will help you to catch it.”

“Go away,” replied Brer Fox indignantly. “But wait a minute.

If you keep watch and make sure the rabbit doesn’t escape, I will fetch my axe. Then we will make the hole bigger so I can get at the rascal.”

Without waiting for the vulture to reply, Brer Fox scampered off, and the vulture squatted down, drooling at the thought of rabbit for lunch.

The rabbit had listened to all this talk and thought, a cunning fox is one thing, but I will soon get the better of this dumb vulture.

“Oh, Mister Vulture,” he cried. “There’s a fat rat in here, trying to squeeze through a small hole on the other side of the tree.”

“My, my,” thought the vulture. “A rat will make a nice snack whilst I am waiting.” And with that, the vulture hopped round to the other side of the tree. No sooner had he gone than the rabbit bolted out of the tree and made tracks for home.

When the vulture saw the rabbit disappearing in the distance, he flapped his wings in dismay. “Of all the cheek,” he croaked. “Why couldn’t that rabbit stay here and be caught? Now I shall have to go hungry.”

Just then, Brer Fox returned carrying a large axe. Without any ado, the fox started widening the hole in the tree with resounding blows of his axe.

After a few minutes, bathed in sweat, the fox paused for a rest, and then he noticed that the vulture was sitting there with a sly look on its ugly face.

“Are you sure the rabbit hasn’t escaped?” he barked at the vulture.

“I don’t think so,” the vulture mumbled.

Brer Fox glared at the vulture. “You don’t think so? Then poke your skinny head in the hole and make sure.”

The vulture was quaking with fright and did so, hoping the fox wouldn’t lose his temper over one solitary rabbit. Thrusting its head in the hole, the vulture, in a sorrowful voice, said, “The rabbit seems to have disappeared.”

“I thought so,” growled the fox, and picking up his axe, thwacked the vulture unmercifully with the blade’s flat, chased the poor bird round, and rounded the tree. Bruised and shaken, the vulture gathered its wits and flew up into one of the branches.

Brer Fox slunk off home, hot, tired, and hungry.

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