Bowser The Hound in "Red Wits And Black Wits"

 

 

 

Red Wits And

Black Wits

 

 

 

This fact you'll find is always so:
He's quick of wit who fools a Crow.

 

There is no greater flatterer in the Green Forest or on the Green Meadows than Blacky the Crow when he hopes to gain something thereby. His tongue is so smooth that it is a wonder it does not drip oil. He is crafty, is Blacky. But these same things are true of Reddy Fox. No one ever yet had a chance to accuse Reddy Fox of lacking in sharp wits. Mistakes he makes, as everybody does, but Reddy's wits are always keen and active.

 

Now Reddy knew perfectly well that Blacky wanted something of him, and this was why he was saying such pleasant things. Blacky the Crow knew that Reddy knew this thing, and that if he would make use of Reddy as he hoped to, he must contrive to keep Reddy wholly in the dark as to what he wanted done.

 

So as they sat there, Reddy Fox on the snow with his tail curled around his feet to keep them warm, and Blacky the Crow in the top of a little tree above Reddy's head, they were playing a sort of game. It was red wits against black wits. Reddy was trying to outguess Blacky, and Blacky was trying to outguess Reddy, and both were enjoying it. People with sharp wits always enjoy matching their wits against other
sharp wits.

 

When Reddy Fox said that in spite of his fine appearance he had forgotten when last he had had a good meal, Blacky pretended to think he was joking. "You surprise me," said he. "Whatever is the matter with my good friend Reddy, that he goes hungry when he no longer has anything to fear from Bowser the Hound. By the way, I saw Bowser the other day."

 

At this, just for an instant, Reddy's eyes flew wide open. Then they half closed again until they were just two yellow slits. But quickly as he closed them, Blacky had seen that startled surprise. "Yes," said Blacky, "I saw Bowser the other day, or at least some one who looked just like him. Wouldn't you like to have him back here, Reddy?"

 

"Most decidedly no," replied Reddy with great promptness. "A dog is a nuisance. He isn't of any use in the wide, wide world."

"Not even to drive off Old Man Coyote?" asked Blacky slyly, for he knew that more than once Bowser the Hound had helped Reddy out of trouble with Old Man Coyote.

 

Reddy pretended not to hear this. "I don't believe you saw Bowser," said he. "I don't believe anybody will ever see Bowser again. I hope not, anyway." And Blacky knew by the way Reddy said this that it would be quite useless to ask Reddy to help get Bowser home.

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