Nothing ever simply happens;
Bear that point in mind.
If you look long and hard enough
A cause you’ll always find.
— Old Granny Fox.
Old Granny Fox was dreaming. Yes, Sir, she was dreaming. There she lay, curled up on the sunny little knoll on the edge of the Green Forest, fast asleep and dreaming. It was a very pleasant and very comfortable place indeed. You see, jolly, round, bright Mr. Sun poured his warmest rays right down there from the blue, blue sky. When Old Granny Fox was tired, she often slipped over there for a short nap and sun-bath even in winter. She was quite sure that no one knew anything about it. It was one of her secrets.
This morning Old Granny Fox was very tired, unusually so. In the first place she had been out hunting all night. Then, before she could reach home, Bowser the Hound had found her tracks and started to follow them. Of course, it wouldn’t have done to go home then. It wouldn’t have done at all. Bowser would have followed her straight there and so found out where she lived. So she had led Bowser far away across the Green Meadows and through the Green Forest and finally played one of her smart tricks which had so mixed her tracks that Bowser could no longer follow them. While he had sniffed and snuffed and snuffed and sniffed with that wonderful nose of his, trying to find out where she had gone, Old Granny Fox had trotted straight to the sunny knoll and there curled up to rest. Right away she fell asleep.
Now Old Granny Fox, like most of the other little people of the Green Forest and the Green Meadows, sleeps with her ears wide open. Her eyes may be closed, but not her ears. Those are always on guard, even when she is asleep, and at the least sound open fly her eyes, and she is ready to run. If it were not for the way her sharp ears keep guard, she wouldn’t dare take naps in the open right in broad daylight. If you ever want to catch a Fox asleep, you mustn’t make the teeniest, weeniest noise. Just remember that.
Now Old Granny Fox had no sooner closed her eyes than she began to dream. At first it was a very pleasant dream, the pleasantest dream a Fox can have. It was of a chicken dinner, all the chicken she could eat. Granny certainly enjoyed that dream. It made her smack her lips quite as if it were a real and not a dream dinner she was enjoying.
But presently the dream changed and became a bad dream. Yes, indeed, it became a bad dream. It was as bad as at first it had been good. It seemed to Granny that Bowser the Hound had become very smart, smarter than she had ever known him to be before. Do what she would, she couldn’t fool him. Not one of all the tricks she knew, and she knew a great many, fooled him at all. They didn’t puzzle him long enough for her to get her breath.