Once there was a very fine farm with a very fine barnyard. Many fine chickens clucked around the fine barnyard.
One of these chickens was a fine rooster who had a fine, fine voice. He liked to strut around the barnyard preening his fine, shiny feathers. He knew he was very important.
The other animals knew it, too. Each morning at dawn, they gathered to hear Rooster crow. Rooster puffed up his chest. "Cock-a-doodle-doo," he crowed. "Cock-a-doodly-doodly-doo."
The chickens all clucked and said, "He has the finest voice in the county. Everyone says so."
Rooster's wife, Hen, agreed. "That rooster is awfully proud of his fine voice," she said.
Late one night, when the chickens were roosting in the chicken coop, Rooster awoke with a start. "Hen, wake up!" he said. "I had a terrible nightmare. I dreamed that a fox crept into the barnyard, looking for the finest, plumpest chicken. And who do you think he picked? Me! I was his chicken dinner! It was horrible, Hen. What should I do?"
"You should go back to sleep, dear," clucked Hen, yawning. "It was only a dream."
"But it seemed so real," said Rooster. "What if it comes true? What if a fox really does creep into the barnyard looking for a fine, plump chicken?"
"Don't be silly," said Hen. "Quit squawking and go back to sleep. It was only a dream."
Rooster took Hen's advice and tried to forget all about his dream. But a few days later, Rooster saw a fox creeping into the barnyard. "The dream has come true!" cried Rooster. "I must run. I must hide."
"My dear Rooster," called Fox. "Please don't run away. I didn't come to harm you. I came only tohear your voice."
Rooster stopped. "My voice?"
"Yes," said Fox. "I knew your father. He was a fine rooster with a fine voice. I wanted to see if you crow as well as he did."
"Of course I do," said Rooster. "I have the finest crow in the entire county. Everyone says so."
"I'd like to hear it for myself," said Fox.
To find out what happens next in "Rooster and Fox," go to the next page.