HAVING sacrificed his ox in order to feast the Fox's servant, the Wolf had nothing left for himself and was soon very hungry. He could find nothing to eat in the forest, so he went prowling around a farm in hopes of getting a pig or a chicken. The only living creature he came upon was a thin old Dog asleep in the sun.
"This is better than nothing," he thought to himself and, taking hold of the Dog, he began dragging it off.
"Cousin! Cousin!" cried the Dog. "Is this any way to treat a relation? Let me go!"
"I'm sorry," the Wolf said, "but I can't let you go. I'm too hungry."
"Let me go," the Dog begged, "and I tell you what I'll do: I'll give you a bottle of vodka."
"Promises come easy," the Wolf said. "Where will you get the vodka?"
"Under the bench in the kitchen. That's where the master keeps his bottle. I've seen him hide it there. Come to-night after the family's asleep and I'll let you in and give you the vodka."
Now Pekka, the Wolf, was very fond of vodka, so he said to the Dog:
"Very well, I'll let you go. But see that you keep your promise!"
Late that night when the family were asleep, the Wolf came scratching at the farmhouse door and the Dog let him in.
"Well, old fellow, you know why I've come," the Wolf said.
At once the Dog crawled under the bench and got the master's bottle of vodka.
"Here, Pekka, here it is!" he said, offering the Wolf the bottle.
"You drink first," Pekka insisted. "You're the host."
The Dog raised the bottle and took a little sip. Then the Wolf took a deep swallow.
"Ah!" he said, smacking his lips, "that's something like!"
His stomach was empty and the vodka went through his veins like fire. He felt happy and laughed and went capering around the room.
"I feel like singing!" he cried.
"My dear Pekka," the Dog said, "I beg you don't sing! You will wake the folks! Sit down quietly and we'll talk."
So they sat awhile and talked and then the Wolf took another deep swallow of the vodka. Again he wanted to sing and the Dog had trouble in restraining him.
"Do you want to wake the family, Pekka? Be quiet now or you can't have any more vodka!"
The Wolf took another deep drink and after that there was no holding him back. He went staggering around the room howling at the top of his voice.
The Farmer and all his family came hurrying into the kitchen with clubs and pokers and whatever they could pick up.
"It's a Wolf!" the Farmer cried. "The impudent scoundrel, coming right into the house! Give him a good beating!"
If the door hadn't been open they would have clubbed poor Pekka to death. As it was he barely escaped with his life.