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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 203 pages of information about Old Peter's Russian Tales.

“I think he might have beaten her a little,” said Maroosia. “she deserved it.”

“Well,” said old Peter, “supposing we could have everything we wanted for the asking, I wonder how it would be.  Perhaps God knew what He was doing when He made those golden fishes rare.”

“Are there really any of them?” asked Vanya.

“Well, there was once one, anyhow,” said old Peter; and then he rolled his nets neatly together, hung them on the fence, and went into the hut to make the dinner.  And Vanya and Maroosia went in with him to help him as much as they could; though Vanya was wondering all the time whether he could make a net, and throw it in the little river where old Peter fished, and perhaps pull out a golden fish that would speak to him with the voice of a human being.

WHO LIVED IN THE SKULL?

Once upon a time a horse’s skull lay on the open plain.  It had been picked clean by the ants, and shone white in the sunlight.

Little Burrowing Mouse came along, twirling his whiskers and looking at the world.  He saw the white skull, and thought it was as good as a palace.  He stood up in front of it and called out,—­

“Little house, little house!  Who lives in the little house?”

No one answered, for there was no one inside.

“I will live there myself,” says little Burrowing Mouse, and in he went, and set up house in the horse’s skull.

Croaking Frog came along, a jump, three long strides, and a jump again.

“Little house, little house!  Who lives in the little house?”

“I am Burrowing Mouse; who are you?”

“I am Croaking Frog.”

“Come in and make yourself at home.”

So the frog went in, and they began to live, the two of them together.

Hare Hide-in-the-Hill came running by.

“Little house, little house!  Who lives in the little house?”

“Burrowing Mouse and Croaking Frog.  Who are you?”

“I am Hare Hide-in-the-Hill.”

“Come along in.”

So the hare put his ears down and went in, and they began to live, the three of them together.

Then the fox came running by.

“Little house, little house!  Who lives in the little house?”

“Burrowing Mouse and Croaking Frog and Hare Hide-in-the-Hill.  Who are you?”

“I am Fox Run-about-Everywhere.”

“Come along in; we’ve room for you.”

So the fox went in, and they began to live, the four of them together.

Then the wolf came prowling by, and saw the skull.

“Little house, little house!  Who lives in the little house?”

“Burrowing Mouse, and Croaking Frog, and Hare Hide-in-the-Hill, and Fox Run-about-Every-where.  Who are you?”

“I am Wolf Leap-out-of-the-Bushes.”

“Come in then.”

So the wolf went in, and they began to live, the five of them together.

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