The Crane, the Fox and the Vulture

Before you read the story

  • Has anyone tried to hurt you, or taken something from you?
  • Did you manage to stop them?
  • How did you do it?

Now read the story

One day, a crane made a nest in a tree. She laid her eggs in it. Soon, her chicks came out. 

A fox was walking under the tree and he heard the chicks. 

"Hmm," he thought. "Baby cranes! I’ll have them for my dinner."  

He sat down under the tree and waited. Soon, the crane came back. 

"Crane!" said the fox. "Give me one of your chicks. If you don't, I'll cut the tree down with my axe. Then I'll eat them all." 

The crane was very sad. 

"You cruel fox," she said. "Oh, my poor babies! I want to save them, so I must lose one." 

And she threw one of her chicks to the fox. 

The next day, the fox came back.            

"Crane!" he shouted. "Give me another of your babies. If you don’t, I'll cut the tree down with my axe." 

The poor crane began to cry. 

"Who will help me?" she said. 

A vulture was flying high up in the sky. She heard the crane. She flew down and landed in the tree. 

"What's the matter, crane?" she said. "Why are you crying?" 

"That cruel fox wants to eat my babies," cried the crane. "Yesterday he ate the first one. Now he wants another. If I don't give my baby to him, he will cut down the tree and eat them all." 

The vulture looked down at the fox. 

"And how will he cut down the tree?" she asked. 

"With an axe, of course," the crane answered. 

"But he hasn't got an axe," said the vulture. 

"What?" cried the crane. "He hasn't got an axe? Oh, the wicked fox! He tricked me!" 


She looked down at the fox and called out to him, "Go away, fox. You can't cut down the tree. You haven't got an axe." 

The fox was angry. 

"Who told you that?" he said. 

"No one told me," the crane said. "I can see you, and I can't see an axe." 

"That crane is stupid," the fox thought. "She has been talking to someone up there in the tree. It was the vulture! I know it was! I'm going to catch that clever vulture, and then I'm going to punish her." 

The fox ran off and found a big piece of meat. He put it on his head. Then he sat down beside the road and waited. 

The vulture was flying high in the sky again. She saw the meat and flew down to eat it. The fox jumped up and caught her. 

"I've caught you," he said, "and now I'm going to eat you."

"Oh! Oh!" cried the vulture. "Please, fox, beat me and eat me and cut off my tail, but don't, don't throw me into the grain store!" 

"What?" said the fox. "You don't like the grain store? Then I’m going to put you in there!" 

So he took the vulture to the grain store and he shut her in. 

The vulture was happy. She ate and she ate. Soon she couldn’t eat any more and she fell asleep. 

The fox came back and he opened up the grain store. The vulture was still inside. She was still asleep. The fox caught her again. 

"Oh! Oh!" cried the vulture. "Please, fox, you can kill me and cook me and cut off my head, but don’t, don’t throw me over the cliff!" 

"Ah!" said the fox. "You are afraid of the cliff? Then I'm going to throw you over it!" 

So the fox took the vulture up the mountain, and threw her over the cliff. At once, the vulture flew away.

When she was high up in the sky, she shouted down to the fox, "Fox, fox, I am cleverer than you! I tricked you, and now I'm free."

The fox was angry, but he thought, "I must be careful, or everyone will think that I'm a fool."

He shouted back to the vulture, "And why are you free? Because I was sorry for you. I freed you! I let you go!"


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