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The Tale Of The Wolf In Harness

from Stories To Read Or Tell From Fairy Tales And Folklore





The horse carried me well. Advancing into the interior parts of Russia, I
found traveling on horseback rather unfashionable in winter; therefore I
submitted, as I always do, to the custom of the country, took a
single-horse sledge, and drove briskly towards St. Petersburg. I do not
exactly recollect whether it was in Eastland or Jugemanland, but I remember
that in the midst of a dreary forest, I spied a terrible wolf making after
me, with all the speed of ravenous winter hunger. He soon overtook me.
There was no possibility of escape. Mechanically I laid myself down flat in
the sledge, and let my horse run for our safety. What I wished, but hardly
hoped or expected, happened immediately after. The wolf did not mind me in
the least, but took a leap over me, and falling furiously on the horse,
began instantly to tear and devour the hind part of the poor animal,
which ran the faster for his pain and terror. Thus unnoticed and safe
myself, I lifted my head slyly up, and with horror I beheld that the wolf
had ate his way into the horse's body; it was not long before he had fairly
forced himself into it, when I took my advantage, and fell upon him with
the butt-end of my whip. This unexpected attack in his rear frightened him
so much, that he leaped forward with all his might; the horse's carcass
dropped on the ground; but in his place the wolf was in harness, and I on
my part whipping him continually, we both arrived in full career safe at
St. Petersburg, contrary to our respective expectations, and very much to
the astonishment of the spectators.





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