Fox's Feud

Free Fox's Feud by Colin Dann

Book: Fox's Feud by Colin Dann Read Free Book Online
Authors: Colin Dann
need say no more. I understand perfectly.’ He was enjoying himself. ‘I’m to be the tool to carry out the job.’
    ‘Why didn’t you keep quiet?’ Bold snapped angrily at his brother. ‘You heard my father. It was to be left to me .’
    ‘Oh dear, oh dear,’ sighed Adder. ‘Do I detect a slight lack of rapport?’
    ‘I should have come alone,’ muttered Bold.
    Adder was greatly amused by the young foxes’discomfiture. In his smoothest manner he said: ‘You really don’t have to find an excuse to visit me, you know I shall always be pleased to see you. I have thoroughly enjoyed our little chat.’
    Bold’s pride in his selection by his father was now utterly deflated. He had simply not been clever enough for the likes of Adder. His crestfallen appearance, however, stirred a flicker even in the snake’s dry old heart.
    ‘You may tell your father that I shall do all in my power to even the score,’ he told the cub, ‘and,’ he added, ‘nothing would give me greater pleasure.’
    Bold pricked up his ears and looked at Adder in astonishment.
    ‘Next time you come to see me,’ said that knowing reptile, ‘I hope it will be solely for our mutual pleasure.’
    Then he was off, weaving his patterns through the long stalks of grass and producing only the barest rustle of noise.
    ‘I believe even our father could be outwitted by his cunning,’ Bold whispered in admiration, and wondered if he heard an answering chuckle through the fern fronds.
    ‘We did it! We did it!’ crowed Friendly.
    But Bold was too happy to reprimand him again and turned hastily back to tell Fox of the result of their encounter. ‘Listen, Friendly,’ he said. ‘There’s no need for us to mention that Adder guessed we had been sent deliberately. After all, our triumph will be marred a little if we admit we were bested.’
    ‘Isn’t that being dishonest?’ Friendly asked innocently.
    ‘Even if it is, it doesn’t matter. We’ve achieved the required result, haven’t we? Scarface will be killed, and that’s all that matters.’
    Friendly was not happy about hiding the completetruth, but decided he would say no more as he had already come close to wrecking the whole plan. Yet Bold’s lack of honesty was to prove a costly mistake, and one which he was to regret for a very long time.

Fox and Vixen were proud and delighted at the outcome of their cubs’ meeting with Adder, and Fox lost no time in spreading the good news that the snake was ready and willing to strike against Scarface. The other animals were relieved and, some, a little surprised that the immature Bold had succeeded so easily in implanting the idea in Adder’s subtle brain.
    Tawny Owl had said: ‘So he fell for it, did he? All credit to the youngsters, then. It’s no easy matter to hoodwink that rascal.’
    Hare was particularly satisfied. ‘I’m only impatient for the thing to take place,’ he told Fox. ‘It’ll bring a measure of security to creatures like the rabbits and ourselves who feel specially at risk.’
    Badger was the last to hear and, despite sharing all the creatures’ relief, was still a little doubtful as to what might follow. ‘I only hope you’re right about the other foxes’ lack of aggression,’ he remarked to his friend. ‘If they should decide to gang up on us afterwards, there’s no knowing how many deaths could occur.’
    ‘Don’t worry,’ said Fox calmly. ‘They will have no leader. With Scarface out of the way they will have no one to motivate them. He brooks no rivals in his neck of the woods, so it’s certain that he won’t have groomed a successor.’
    ‘When does Adder expect to do it?’
    ‘Who can say, Badger? He must wait for the right opportunity.’
    ‘And then – when it’s done – how long before we know?’ Badger persisted.
    ‘Only so long as it takes Adder to find one of us,’ said Fox. ‘Unless, of course, Kestrel spots anything. I know he means to keep a sharp look-out for Scarface’s

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