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Лиса и журавль/ The Fox and the Stork

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Once upon a time… a fox made friends with a stork and decided to invite her to lunch. While he was wondering what to serve for meal, he thought he'd play a trick on the bird. So he prepared a tasty soup and poured it into two flat plates.

‘Help yourself. Mrs. Stork! I'm sure you'll enjoy this! It's frog soup and chopped parsley. Taste it, you'll find it's delicious!'

‘Thank you very much!', said the stork, sniffing the soup. But she quickly saw the trick the fox had played on her. Far no matter how she tried, she could not drink the soup from flat plate. The sniggering fox urged her on, ‘Eat up! Do you like it?' But all the stork could do was bluff. With a casual air she said, ‘I'm afraid I've such a headache that I've lost my appetite!' And the fox fussily replied, ‘ Yes, of course! Next time, you must have lunch with me!'

The very next day, the fox fount a polite note pinned to his door: it was stork's invitation to lunch. ‘Now, isn't that nice of her!' said the fox to himself. ‘And she hasn't taken my little trick to heart either! A real lady!'

The stork's house was much plainer than the fox's, and she apologized to the fox. ‘My home is much humbler than yours', she said, ‘but I've cooked a really special meal. Freshwater shrimps with white wine and juniper berries!' the fox licked his lips at the idea of these goodies and sniffed deeply when the stork handed him his jar. But, try as he might, he was unable to eat a bite, for he could not reach down with his nose into the long neck of the jar. In the meantime, with her long beak, the stork gobbled her lunch. ‘Try it! Try it!' she said. ‘Do you like it?' But the unlucky fox, confused and outsmarted, could not think of an excuse for not eating.

And as he tossed and turned hungrily in bed that night, thinking of his lost lunch, he said to himself with a sigh, ‘I might have known!'

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