BLTC Press Titles

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The Fairy Tale of the Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Thomas Carlyle, Rudolf Steiner

The Pictorial Key to the Tarot

Arthur Edward Waite

Novalis Including Hymns to the Night

Novalis, George MacDonald, Thomas Carlyle

Knowledge of Higher Worlds and its Attainment

Rudolf Steiner

Mother West Wind's animal friends

by Thornton Waldo Burgess


As they hurried along the Crooked Little Path up the hill, they met Reddy Fox.

"Oh, Reddy Fox," cried the Merry Little Breezes, so excited that all talked together, "there's a stranger in the Green Forest!"

Reddy Fox sat down and grinned at the Merry Little Breezes. The grin of Reddy Fox is not pleasant. It irritates and exasperates. It made the Merry Little Breezes feel very uncomfortable.

"You don't say so," drawled Reddy Fox. "Do you mean to say that you've just discovered him? Why, your news is so old that it is stale; it is no news at all. I thought you had something really new to tell me."

The Merry Little Breezes were disappointed. Their faces fell. They had thought it would be such fun to carry the news through the Green Forest and over the Green Meadows, and now the very first one they met knew all about it.

"Who is he, Reddy Fox? " asked one of the Merry Little Breezes.

Reddy Fox pretended not to hear. "I must be going," said he, rising and stretching. "I have an engagement with Billy Mink down at the Smiling Pool."

Reddy Fox started down the Crooked Little Path while the Merry Little Breezes hurried up the Crooked Little Path to tell the news to Jimmy Skunk, who was looking for beetles for his breakfast.

Now Reddy Fox had not told the truth. He had known nothing whatever of the stranger in the Green Forest. In fact he had been as surprised as the Merry Little Breezes could have wished, but he would not show it. And he had told another untruth, for he had no intention of going down to the Smiling Pool. No, indeed! He just waited until the Merry Little Breezes were out of sight, then he slipped into the Green Forest to look for the stranger seen by the Merry Little Breezes.

Now Reddy Fox does nothing openly. Instead of walking through the Green Forest like a gentleman, he sneaked along under the bushes and crept from tree to tree, all the time looking for the stranger of whom the Merry Little Breezes had told him. All around through the Green Forest sneaked Reddy Fox, but nothing of the stranger could he see. It didn't occur to him to look anywhere but on the ground.

"I don't believe there is a stranger here," said Reddy to himself.

Just then he noticed some scraps of bark around the foot of a tall maple. Looking up to see where it came from he saw — what do you think? Why, the stranger who had come to the Green Forest. Reddy Fox dodged back out of sight, for he wanted to find out all he could about the stranger before the stranger saw him.

Reddy sat down behind a big stump and rubbed his eyes. He could hardly believe what he saw. There at the top of the tall maple, stripping the branches of their bark and eating it, was the stranger, sure enough. He was big, much bigger than Reddy. Could he be a relative of Happy Jack Squirrel? He didn't look a bit, not the least little bit like Happy Jack. And he moved slowly, very slowly, indeed, while Happy Jack and his cousins move quickly. Reddy decided that the stranger could not be related to Happy Jack.

The longer Reddy looked the more he was puzzled. Also, Reddy began to feel just a little bit jealous. You see all the little meadow people and forest folks are afraid of Reddy Fox, but this stranger was so big that Reddy began to feel something very like fear in his own heart.

The Merry Little Breezes had told the news to Jimmy Skunk and then hurried over the Green Meadows telling every one they met of the stranger in the Green Forest — Billy Mink, Little Joe Otter, Johnny Chuck, Peter Rabbit, Happy Jack Squirrel, Danny Meadow Mouse, Striped Chipmunk, old Mr. Toad, Great-Grandfather Frog, Sammy Jay, Blacky the Crow, and each as soon as he heard the news started for the Green Forest to welcome the newcomer. Even Great-Grandfather Frog left his beloved big, green lily-pad and started for the Green Forest.

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