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THE FOX AND THE PARROT

This is a version of the fable about the fox, the crow and a piece of cheese

One summer day the mischievous Fox went for a walk. She was walking in the forest, she walked and walked - and suddenly saw the Parrot sitting on a pine-tree. And he was not a small parrot but a giant one, red, with bluish green wings and a very long tail! He was sitting on a branch holding a big piece of cheese in his beak.

"Here is my dinner," the Fox thought. "The Parrot will be my first course and the cheese - the second. And I'll have a nice broom out of that beautiful long tail!"

She sat down under the pine-tree and looked up at the Parrot. The Parrot lowered his head to his shoulder and looked down at the Fox.

"Ah, it's so nice to see you!" the cheat said in her most sweet voice.

"Hll!" the Parrot mumbled without letting the cheese out of his mouth.

"Hello to you as well, my beautiful," the Fox sang understanding what the Parrot wanted to say. "The weather is nice today, isn't it?"

"Wn-dr-fl," the Parrot said meaning "wonderful". The Fox understood him perfectly.

"I have never seen feathers brighter than yours," the Fox informed him. "And how are such magnificent, such wonderful parrots called?" The Fox rolled her eyes. "Ah, I am so curious!"

"Mcw..." the Parrot answered. "Mcw!"

He wanted to say "macaw" but the cheese in his mouth did not allow him to speak normally. And he did not intend to part with the tasty morsel. The Parrot was a city bird, educated and contrary to the Fox, had read Grandpa Krylov's fables. On the other hand, he loved to talk like all the parrots.

The Fox waved her fluffy red tail and looked at the Parrot admiringly.

"I like you so much, my dear macaw! You have such a pretty beak! Such wings! I am sure that they are bigger and stronger than eagle's!" The Parrot spread his wings immediately and puffed up proud of himself. "And your tail! An amazing tail! I am sure that with such a tail and wings you fly quicker than lightning!"

The Parrot puffed up even more, the Fox smacked her lips and decided that she may consider this pigeon to be in her pot already - together with his cheese certainly. It was interesting, she thought, if the Parrot would be too tough in comparison with a young chicken.

"Your claws are more powerful than those of an eagle as well," she continued to praise the Parrot. "You can catch and take to the sky the fattest hare in the forest! Not even a hare - a whole sheep! Or a cow!"

"Uh-huh," the Parrot agreed without opening his mouth. He did not fully understand why it was necessary to take a hare, a sheep and more so a cow to the sky but it was so pleasant to listen to praise!

"Which country do such beauties come from?" the Fox continued enthusiastically. "No other place than paradise for sure! You must have rivers full of cream there and land flowing with milk and honey..." She rolled her cunning eyes again.

"Brzl," the Parrot answered assuming a dignified air. We understand certainly that he meant "Brazil" where all the macaw parrots come from but the Fox was not very good at geography. She decided that the Parrot had said "break off". That's what she did not intend to do, just on the contrary! She intended to pull the wool over the Parrot's eyes, pull his leg (or beak), fool him with her smooth talk. She was already smelling the aroma of parrot soup and the smell of cheese was tickling her nostrils as well.

One must say that the Fox was not much interested where that tasty macaw had come from. She decided that the Parrot had come from Africa. Like many forest animals, the cheat thought that there was no farther place than Africa in the world though that is not true. The road to Brazil, for example, is much longer.

"How do you like our part of the world?" the Fox was curious. "Surely such a noble foreigner stopped at the best palace, didn't you?"

"Crcs," the Parrot answered shortly and that the Fox understood correctly because any animal in the forest had heard about the circus.

"I can see that you are fed well," the Fox mentioned looking hungrily at the cheese as well as at the well-fed Parrot.

"Wll..." the Parrot confirmed closing his beak more firmly. To tell the truth, he had stolen the cheese from the window sill of some scatterbrain when he had run away from the circus in the morning together with his friend looking for adventures. He performed in the "Brazilian Stars" show with the same friend but both of them were sick and tired of the circus arena and spectators' applause. It sometimes happens to actors, to circus stars especially.

"And what do you do in the circus?" the Fox raised her eyes thoughtfully. "Ah, I know! You are a great actor certainly! The most famous, the most wonderful, the most glorious!"

"Actr!" the Parrot barked thrusting his chest forward and spreading his wings once again; nevertheless he held the cheese firmly.

The Fox was beside herself with delight; she will soon have an African parrot in her pot and not an ordinary one but a great actor from the circus! Ah, that was so wonderful!

"The actors must eat well," she said didactically and suddenly cried full of enthusiasm, "And why do not we have dinner together? You have your cheese and I was just going to bake a pie..."

"With parrot meat," the cheat added silently. She did not know what parrots liked best but was sure that it was possible to tempt even an ostrich with a pie. A pie is a pie even in Africa!

"A p-p-pie!" the Parrot cried with delight and danced on the branch. "A p-p-pie!"

It was evident he liked pies a lot. "Maybe I should really bake a pie," the Fox thought. "Or should it be soup?" Aloud she sang tenderly, "Well, my sweet gourmand, come down and let's go to my lair."

The Parrot pinned the cheese carefully on the closest sharp branch and said, "I am not alone! I am with my friend!"

With his friend! Ah, how delighted the Fox was! One could only dream about it - with a friend! Now she will have both her pie and soup!

"No problem! Let him come with us!" the cheat cried. "And where is that friend of yours?"

"Close, very close," the Parrot assured her. "Just behind your tail."

The Fox turned round smacking her lips. Behind her back there was a giant jaguar. He also smacked his lips.