There was once upon a time an old fox with nine tails, who believed that his wife was not faithful to him, and wished to put her to the test. He stretched himself out under the bench, did not move a limb, and behaved as if he were stone dead. Mrs. Fox went up to her room, shut herself in, and her maid, Miss Cat, sat by the fire, and did the cooking. The maid heard someone standing at the house- door, knocking. She went and opened it, and it was a young fox. He asked if Mrs. Fox was at home. The maid answered that she was in her room. The young fox asked Miss Cat to tell Mrs. Fox that he is willing to marry her. She conveyed the message to her. Mrs. Fox inquired if he had nine tails. The cat answered, “No, he has only one.” Fox rejected him.
Miss Cat went downstairs and sent the wooer away. Soon afterwards there was another knock, and another fox was at the door who wished to woo Mrs. Fox. He had two tails, but he did not fare better than the first. After this still more came, each with one tail more than the other, but they were all turned away, until at last one came who had nine tails, like old Mr. Fox. When the widow heard that, she said joyfully to the cat to prepare wedding feast.
But just as the wedding was going to be solemnized, old Mr. Fox stirred under the bench and drove all away and Mrs. Fox out of the house.