Animals Moral Story for Kids The Professor Fox

 The Professor Fox

On the edge of a river, overshadowed by a big bush, lived a tortoise with her three children. The young ones, round and soft, soon attracted the attention of a fox who lived in the nearby forest. One morning while strolling on the river bank the fox greeted the tortoise most genially and asked, as if purely out of courtesy, "Madame Tortoise, how is it that nowadays I don't see you as often I used to?" "Mr. Fox, a lover of nature though I am, I have very little time for sightseeing now that I have three toddlers to look after," replied the tortoise. "I am glad that you take your young ones so seriously. That is like an ideal mother. But tell me, what are you going to do for their education?" asked the fox. "Education?" fumbled the tortoise. "Well, to be frank, I had never given any thought to that!" "I thought so. That is where most of the mothers err," observed the fox gravely. "They pamper their kids all right, but do nothing more and just look on as the young ones grow up into the same stupid beings of themselves. I shudder to think of the future of our forest which was once proud of many a scholarly animal." 

The fox sighed. The tortoise became very thoughtful and she implored the fox to shed some light on the prospect of educating her kids. The fox said, "You see, it is long since I gave up my professorship. All my pupils are now holding prestigious positions in the administration of the forest, in the service of the king lion. However, since you are my neighbor, I will undertake to educate your children. Come on, hand them over to me." The tortoise led her young ones to the residence of the fox which was a spacious hole a furlong away and returned beaming with hope. That very night the fox ate up one of the toddlers and when the mother tortoise went to look them up the next day, he brought only one young tortoise out of his hole at a time and that he did three times. The mother tortoise returned happy. And when she paid a visit again the next day, although there was only one toddler surviving, the fox brought it out three times and she returned satisfied. But the fox had nothing to show to the mother tortoise the next day. He, of course, promptly bluffed her, saying that the pupils had been sent to his elder brother, who was the director of public instruction in the forest, for higher education. But while the tortoise was returning, a crow, who had seen the fox munching her young ones, asked her derisively, "At what price did you sell your kids to the fox?" "Sold?" she scoffed, "It is for education, my dear crow, it is for the future of the forest that I have entrusted my boys to the professor fox!" she said proudly. The crow cried out a whoopee which could be a laugh or a cry and then to the bewildered tortoise he narrated what the hypocrite fox had really done to her children. The tortoise, mad with fury, went to destroy the fox. But the fox gave her the slip. The tortoise could do nothing more than shrieking and abusing him for a full hour while the fox quietly swallowed them from a safe distance with a villainous grin. But the tortoise was deter-mined to take revenge. 

One day, while the fox was crossing the river, she caught him by one of his legs under the water. The fox giggled and said, "What a fun! How confidently the tortoise bites a stick of bamboo thinking that it was my leg!" The tortoise at once let go the fox's leg and the fox jumped to the shore. Only then the tortoise realized her mistake. Several hours passed. But the tortoise kept up her vigil. When the fox appeared on the river-bank again, she swum close to the surface of the water, waiting to catch him when he would cross the river. But the fox dilly-dallied. After waiting for a long time the tortoise floated up in order to see what the matter was with the fox. At once the fox hopped on to his back and in another bounce crossed to the other side, before she had realized what he was doing. This was too much. The tortoise swum back to her shelter and hiding herself from others shed bitter tears. "I can understand your agony," said a kind voice. The tortoise looked up. It was the crow. "I will help you to punish the wicked fox. Now, do as I say. While sitting on the queen's window this morning, I gathered that she planned to come to bathe in the river this evening, for it is going to be a full moon night. When the queen will be neck deep in water, swim near her stealthily and hang on to her necklace. To get rid of you, she will take off her necklace. As soon as she does that, slip away and see what happens thereafter," said the crow. The tortoise agreed to act accordingly. Soon after the moonrise the queen, accompanied by her maids, came to the river. Her bodyguards waited near her bejeweled palanquin, off the river-bank. 

As soon as the queen was neck-deep in the water, the tortoise hung to her diamond necklace. Aghast, she pulled the necklace off her neck and although the tortoise slipped away instantly, she gave out a shriek and threw it on to the bank. Immediately the crow swooped down and picking up the necklace, flew away. The queen's maids raised a hue and cry. At that the bodyguards rushed to the bank and saw the crow flying away with the necklace, the diamond beads glittering like a garland of stars. They ran raising their clubs and swords and shouting to scare the crow to drop the precious necklace. But the crow flew on, never too fast or high, but never coming within the reach of their arms, till he reached the spot where the fox resided. He then dropped the necklace into the hole, in full sight of the queen's men, and flew away to the safety of a tall tree. The guards stood around the hole and one of them thrust his sword into it. The scared fox came out instantly. The guards lost no time in bringing down their heavy clubs on his back. He fell dead, but not before giving out a piercing howl which the tortoise could hear from the river. Before the guards had returned to the queen with the necklace the crow announced to the gleeful tortoise the tragic end of the professor fox! 

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