Answer the questions on the 2do quiz using the text to help you
‘Well, my darling,’ said Mr Fox. ‘What shall it be tonight?’
‘I think we’ll have duck tonight,’ said Mrs Fox. ‘Bring us two fat ducks, if you please. One for you and me, and one for the children.’
‘Ducks it shall be!’ said Mr Fox. ‘Bunce’s best!’
‘Now do be careful,’ said Mrs Fox.
‘My darling,’ said Mr Fox, ‘I can smell those goons a mile away. I can even smell one from the other. Boggis gives off a filthy stink of rotten chicken-skins. Bunce reeks of goose-livers, and as for Bean, the fumes of apple cider hang around him like poisonous gases.’
‘Yes, but just don’t get careless,’ said Mrs Fox. ‘You know they’ll be waiting for you, all three of them.’
‘Don’t you worry about me,’ said Mr Fox. ‘I’ll see you later.’
Mr Fox crept up the dark tunnel to the mouth of his hole. He poked his long handsome face out into the night air and sniffed once.
He moved an inch or two forward and stopped.
But Mr Fox would not have been quite so cocky had he known exactly where the three farmers were waiting at that moment. They were just outside the entrance to the hole, each one crouching behind a tree with his gun loaded. And what is more, they had chosen their positions very carefully, making sure that the wind was not blowing from them towards the fox’s hole. In fact, it was blowing in the opposite direction. There was no chance of them being ‘smelled out’.
He sniffed again. He was always especially careful when coming out from his hole.
He inched forward a little more. The front half of his body was now in the open.
His black nose twitched from side to side, sniffing and sniffing for the scent of danger. He found none, and he was just about to go trotting forward into the wood when he heard or thought he heard a tiny noise, a soft rustling sound, as though someone had moved a foot ever so gently through a patch of dry leaves.
Mr Fox flattened his body against the ground and lay very still, his ears pricked. He waited a long time, but he heard nothing more.
‘It must have been a field-mouse,’ he told himself, ‘or some other small animal.’
He crept a little further out of the hole… then further still. He was almost right out in the open now. He took a last careful look around. The wood was murky and very still. Somewhere in the sky the moon was shining.
Just then, his sharp night-eyes caught a glint of something bright behind a tree not far away. It was a small silver speck of moonlight shining on a polished surface. Mr Fox lay still, watching it. What on earth was it? Now it was moving. It was coming up and up… Great heavens! It was the barrel of a gun! Quick as a whip, Mr Fox jumped back into his hole and at that same instant the entire wood seemed to explode around him. Bang-bang! Bang-bang! Bang-bang!
The smoke from the three guns floated upward in the night air. Boggis and Bunce and Bean came out from behind their trees and walked towards the hole.
‘Did we get him?’ said Bean.
One of them shone a flashlight on the hole, and there on the ground, in the circle of light, half in and half out of the hole, lay the poor tattered bloodstained remains of… a fox’s tail. Bean picked it up. ‘We got the tail but we missed the fox,’ he said, tossing the thing away.
‘Dang and blast!’ said Boggis. ‘We shot too late. We should have let fly the moment he poked his head out.’
‘He won’t be poking it out again in a hurry,’ Bunce said.
Bean pulled a flask from his pocket and took a swig of cider. Then he said, ‘It’ll take three days at least before he gets hungry enough to come out again. I’m not sitting around here waiting for that. Let’s dig him out.’
‘Ah,’ said Boggis. ‘Now you’re talking sense. We can dig him out in a couple of hours. We know he’s there.’
‘I reckon there’s a whole family of them down that hole,’ Bunce said.
‘Then we’ll have the lot,’ said Bean. ‘Get the shovels!’