Fairy Tale The Wolf and the Fox

The Wolf and the Fox

Wolf commands Fox to get him some tasty food. Fox obeys but plans his revenge…

The Wolf and the Fox is a Brothers Grimm fairy tale about a wolf who orders a fox around. He sends him out for food but is so gluttonous that he manages to get himself caught every time. In the end, the wolf dies, and the fox escapes.


Complete text The Wolf and the Fox

The wolf made the fox go with him.

Whatsoever the wolf wished, that the fox was compelled to do. He was the weaker one, and he would gladly have been rid of his master.

As they were going through the forest, the wolf said, “Red-fox, get me something to eat, or else I will eat you.”

Stealing lambs at the farmyard

The fox answered, “I know a farm-yard where there are two young lambs; if you like it, we will fetch one of them.”

That sounded good to the wolf. So they went there; the fox stole the little lamb, took it to the wolf, and went away. The wolf devoured it but was not satisfied with one; he wanted the other and went to get it.

As, however, he did it so awkwardly, the mother of the little lamb heard him. She began to cry out terribly and to bleat so that the farmer came running there. They found the wolf and beat him so mercilessly that he went to the fox limping and howling.

“You have misled me finely,” he said; “I wanted to fetch the other lamb, and the country folks surprised me and have beaten me to a jelly.”

The fox replied, “Why are you such a glutton?”

The next day they again went into the country. Once more, the greedy wolf said, “Red-fox, get me something to eat, or I will eat you.”

Stealing pancakes at the farmhouse

The fox answered, “I know a farm-house where the wife is baking pancakes tonight; we will get some of them for ourselves.”

They went there, and the fox slipped round the house. He peeped and sniffed until he discovered where the dish was and then took six pancakes and carried them to the wolf.

“Here is something for you to eat,” he said and then went his way. The wolf swallowed down the pancakes instantly and said, “They make one want more.”

He went back, and when taking pancakes, the dish fell and broke into pieces. This made such a great noise that the woman came out. When she saw the wolf, she called the people, who hurried there and beat him as long as their sticks would hold together.

With two lame legs and howling loudly, he got back to the fox in the forest.

“How cruelly have you misled me!” cried he, “the peasants caught me and tanned my skin for me.”

But the fox replied, “Why are you such a glutton?”

On the third day, when they were out together, and the wolf could only limp along painfully, he again said, “Red-fox, get me something to eat, or I will eat you.”

The fox answered, “I know a man who has been killing, and the salted meat is lying in a barrel in the cellar; we will get that.”

Stealing salted meat from the cellar

The wolf said, “I will go with you so that you can help me when I can’t get away.

“Let’s go,” said the fox. He showed him the by-paths and ways by which they reached the cellar at last. There was meat in abundance. The wolf attacked it instantly and thought, “There is plenty of time before I need to leave off!”

The fox liked it also but looked about everywhere and often ran to the hole by which they had come in and tried if his body was still thin enough to slip through it.

The wolf said, “Dear fox, tell me why are you running here and there so much and jumping in and out?”

“I must see that no one is coming,” replied the crafty fellow. “Don’t overeat!”

Then the wolf said, “I shall not leave until the barrel is empty.” In the meantime, the farmer, who had heard the noise of the fox’s jumping, came into the cellar.

When the fox saw him, he was out of the hole with one giant leap. The wolf wanted to follow him, but he had made himself so fat with eating that he could no longer get through but stuck fast.

Then came the farmer with a cudgel and struck him dead, but the fox bounded into the forest, glad to be rid of the old glutton.

Tips for Telling The Wolf and the Fox

Storyteller Rudolf Roos
  • Take some time to find the characters in this story. How does the fox feel, talk, move, look? And the wolf?
  • Your listeners know from the beginning of the story that the fox will try to trick the wolf. Leave some things out at the end, so you don’t give the way he tricks the wolf away too easily.
  • There are more stories with foxes and wolves, see below. You can easily combine some and tell them together.
A reading of The Wolf and the Fox

All Questions Answered

Who wrote the story The Wolf and the Fox?

The Brothers Grimm published it in the first edition of their Grimm’s Fairy Tales. It was told long before they published it.

When was The Wolf and the Fox written?

The Brothers Grimm included it in the 1812 first edition of their Grimm’s fairy tales.

What is the lesson of The Wolf and the Fox?

Don’t be a glutton. You will end up miserably.

More Useful information

Fairy tales with a fox

Fairy tales with a wolf

Photo credits: Josh Felise on Unsplash

The Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales on this website are based on the authentic translation of Margaret Hunt. They were edited and reformatted for pleasant reading and telling by Storyteller Rudolf Roos.
See the complete list of The Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales (link to internationalstoryteller.com).