A True-to-Nature Story for

Children and Their Elders



Author of

"Twinkly Eyes," "The Little Black Bear," "Trail and

Tree Top," and "Lost River, or The Adventures

of Two Boys in the Big Woods"





Copyright 1920, by



Adventures of Fleet Foot

Bradley Quality Books for Children



























"Me-o-ow!" screamed Old Man Lynx, from the heart of the woods. The two

spotted fawns heard the cry from their laurel copse on the rim of Lone

Lake. But, though their big, soft eyes were round with terror, so

perfectly had they been trained, they never so much as twitched an ear.

Well did they know that the slightest movement might show to some

prowler of the night just where they lay hidden.

Next morning, no sooner had the birds begun to chirp themselves awake,

than Mother Fleet Foot fed the fawns as usual and ate her own light

breakfast of lily pads, Then she lined up the two fawns before her.

"Children," she said, in deer language, "you have a great deal to learn

before ever you can take care of yourselves in these woods. From now on

we are going to have lessons."

"Yes, Mother," bleated the little ones, "but what are lessons."

"They are going to be as much like play as we can make them," said Fleet

Foot. "You need practice in running, and we must play 'Follow the

Leader' every day. Mother, of course, will be the leader. It will be

lots of fun."

The fawns waggled their ears in delight.

"Now listen, both of you," said Fleet Foot. "_This_ means danger! Follow

me!" And she stamped her foot three times and whistled, as she leaped

away through the bushes.

"Just watch my white flag, and you'll know where to follow," she called;

and she showed them how, when she ran, she held the white lining of her

tail straight up to show which way she had gone. This was because her

brown back might not show between the tree-trunks.

"And when I give the danger signal, you must give it, too, to warn the

others," she added, leaping back to their side.

"What others?" asked the tinier fawn.

"Any deer within ear-shot. That is how we help each other. And

remember--obey on the instant! It is the only safe way!"

Suddenly she gave the danger signal!

This time it was in real alarm, for she had spied a black snake wiggling

toward them. The fawns bounded after her, just in time to escape the

ugly fellow. And, because woods babies learn quickly they remembered to

give their own tiny stamp and whistle, their own wee white flags

wig-wagging behind them. Fleet Foot could have killed the snake with her

sharp fore-hoof, but a deer's long legs are better suited to running

away when danger is near.

The next day she taught them to leap exactly in her footprints. She took

short steps, so that it would be easy for them. Great skill and

experience is needed for a deer to know where and how to put his feet

down when he makes those great leaps of his. He may land, now among the

rocks, now in marshy ground, slipping over mosses and scrambling over

tree-trunks. It would be only too easy to break one of those slender

legs, and be at the mercy of his enemies.

By the time the fawns were six weeks old, they had learned just how to

land without stumbling and hurting their frail ankles. Then, one day,

young Frisky Fox, hiding at the edge of the clearing, saw a strange

sight. In fact, he thought he had never seen anything quite so odd in

all his life.

Down four little trails from the hill-top came four does, Fleet Foot

among the number. And close behind each doe came her two fawns. Then a

fifth mother came from the other side of the meadow. She had only one

baby with her.

It was to be a sort of party. But the fawns were most unwilling to get

acquainted, as their mothers intended them to do. The baby bucks made at

each other with heads lowered, ready to fight. The infant does backed

timidly away to the edge of the meadow. But their mothers insisted, with

gentle shakings of their heads and shovings of their velvet noses.

They were pretty creatures, these baby deer, with their soft

orange-brown coats spotted with white, and their great innocent brown

eyes! Everything about them, from their slender legs to their swinging

stride, was graceful.

Now the mothers formed in line, the little ones trailing along behind

them. "Ah!" thought Frisky Fox, "a game of 'Follow the Leader'." He and

his brothers had often played it with Father and Mother Red Fox.

At first the does ran slowly around the clearing, then they quickened

their pace, the little ones trying their best to keep up.

Suddenly Fleet Foot, who was in the lead, leaped over a fallen log at

the edge of the glade and off into the woodland. The other does

followed. Then came Fleet Foot's youngest. This little scamp only ran

around the log, while her brother crawled under.

But that was not what Fleet Foot wanted. She came back, stamping her

foot for attention.

"Do just as I do!" she insisted. "Now come back and try it over again."

And she trotted out into the glade, and circled around it, the tinier

fawn close at her heels, till she came to the log again.

"Now!" she stamped, taking the leap once more. The fawn followed till

she came to the log, then stopped short, with her nose against it. Fleet

Foot hurdled back, and coming up behind, butted the youngster with her

head till the fawn tried to jump. This time the little creature went

over, as light as a bit of thistle-down--probably much to her own


Then Fleet Foot turned to the larger fawn. "Come, now, there's nothing

like trying," she urged. But he only gave a ba-a-ah! and wriggled under

the tree-trunk again.

"Follow me," his mother bade him. First she led him several times around

the glade. "Now!" she stamped, leaping the log once more. This time he

followed without stopping to think about it.

The other fawns behaved much the same way, but at last their mothers had

them all in line. Then what a race they had! First around and around the

opening, faster and faster and faster. Then, without warning, across the

log and back again, till every infant buck and doe of them could do it


"Um!" sniffed Frisky Fox. "Wouldn't one of those little fellows make

good eating? I'd certainly like to try it!" For the smell of venison

that blew to his nostrils on the breeze fairly made his mouth water.

But Frisky was too wise a pup to think for an instant he could catch

one. And so he finally trotted off to stay his appetite with field mice.

But he told Father Red Fox about it that night in the den on the

hillside, and the older fox made up his mind that next day he would be

the one to watch when the fawns came to the meadow. If he couldn't catch

one, at least he liked to know all that went on in the woods. One never

knew when an odd bit of knowledge might come in handy to a fellow that

lives by his wits.

That day the fawns were being drilled to run around and around in

circles. They made a track like a figure 8, only with three loops

instead of two. Sometimes one of the little fellows would slip and


"I have it," Father Red Fox told himself. "The fawns are learning to

make a quick turn. Because they'd break their legs if they were to

stumble that way in the underbrush."

The old fox knew that he could never catch one by the usual methods. He

did wonder, though, if he might not corner one by trickery. So, gliding

from tree-trunk to tree-trunk, he crept nearer the unsuspecting little

school, keeping always on the side where the wind could tell no tales!


Now it was chiefly in a spirit of mischief that Father Red Fox decided

to chase the fawns. To tell the truth, the old fellow was proud of his

wits; and though he knew he could not hope to catch them and bring them

down by a straightaway race, he thought he might use some trickery on


So, he watched and waited till he should find them alone. After an hour

or more in the racing meadow, Fleet Foot called to her little ones with

a "He-eu" and a stamp of her little fore-hoof, and led them back to Lone

Lake, where they all waded out after their supper of lily pads. Every

minute of the time Father Red Fox was right behind, but always with the

wind in his face, so that she wouldn't catch his musky scent on the

breeze with that wonderful nose of hers.

Now Father Red Fox knew one thing about Fleet Foot, the doe. He knew

that when she heard a sound that alarmed her, she always ran straight

away from the sound, without once stopping to see what made it. No

sooner, therefore, was she neck-deep in Lone Lake, with her back to the

shore, than he cracked a twig behind her.

The doe, hearing that, supposed of course it must be Old Man Lynx, at

least, or perhaps a big black bear, as nothing so small and dainty as a

fox ever made a sound like that.

She was terribly frightened, and whistling the fawns to follow, she swam

straight across the Lake, never once stopping for breath till they

scrambled up the opposite bank.

But Father Red Fox had raced around the upper end of the Lake, just far

enough back in the woods so that she couldn't see him. And the instant

the tired little family planted their hoofs on dry ground, Red Fox,

hiding behind a boulder, cracked an even larger twig, and made them

think there was another bear on that side of the Lake.

So she had to lead them back across the Lake again, to the third line of

shore. But Father Red Fox was there before her and cracked another twig

to make her think there was a bear on that side, too.

This time the fawns were fairly gasping for breath, their little spotted

sides heaving painfully and their big eyes round with fright. But there

was no help for it; Fleet Foot had to make them swim back across the

Lake to the fourth bank, where she hoped to get into the woods before

the three bears could catch her. She was quite worn out, herself, by

now, and it was only the fear of death that kept her in the race at all.

But finally up the bank she stumbled, and on down a forest trail, her

fawns following desperately.

Father Red Fox laughed as he ran around the Lake. They were all so worn

out that it should be an easy matter to corner them. In fact, that

wicked fellow had one of the meanest plans in his black heart that ever

deserved the name of a foxy trick. And so far it had worked.

Fleet Foot, believing she had nothing less than a bear on her trail,

raced on and on till her flanks dripped foam and her legs felt weak and

wobbly--which was just what the old fox intended. On he raced after her,

knowing she wouldn't stop even to turn her head.

Then, suddenly, he made a short cut in the trail and headed her straight

toward a brush heap. The tired doe drew her trembling legs together for

the leap that would carry her over in safety. But there was not quite

enough spring left in those delicate hind quarters. She came down too

soon, catching one of her slim feet in the brush. It broke her leg.

Ah, but Red Fox had hoped it would be one of the fawns. Fleet Foot he

dared not approach, because she could strike him with her sharp

fore-hoofs, and punish him severely. In fact, had she known it was only

a fox behind her, she would have stopped to face him long ago.

The fawns--little rascals that they were--had not tried to leap the

brush heap; they had left the trail and gone around it, hiding--when

their mother fell--by crawling under a juniper bush. And there they

waited, without so much as waggling an ear, till Red Fox had given up

his quest in disgust and trotted away home.

But their troubles were not ended. For one thing, they were hungry.

Besides, what was Fleet Foot to do, helpless there where a real bear

might find her?

Just then they heard a cowbell.

Clover Blossom, the soft-eyed Jersey at the Valley Farm, must have found

a broken place in the pasture fence, and wandered into the woods again.

She loved to go exploring.

This time she gave the Boy a chase. Here it was, nearly dark! Straining

his ears to catch the sound, he decided he must creep very softly upon

her, or she would never let him catch her.

The Boy, however, was not the only one to hear the tinkle of the

cowbell. Though Clover Blossom grazed quite unaware that she was being

watched, as an actual fact she had quite an audience of wood folk around

her, peering and sniffing and studying the situation. Softly, silently,

creeping through the hazel copse, came Frisky, the fox pup, as curious

as his nose was long. Then came Bobby, Madame Lynx's kitten, to whose

nostrils the odor was most tempting, though he did not dare attack an

animal so large. Crouched flat along a low-hanging branch, he peered and

peered with his narrow gold-green eyes, his claws workingnervously into

the bark.

Came also Unk-Wunk, the Porcupine, rattling his slow way up a beech tree

from whose top he could see all that was going on. He, too, watched

curiously as the Jersey wandered from one huckleberry bush to another,

lowing faintly now and then as she realized that she needed to be


  • valley [´væli] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.谷;河谷;流域   (初中英语单词)
  • terror [´terə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.恐怖;惊骇   (初中英语单词)
  • movement [´mu:vmənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.活动;运动;动作   (初中英语单词)
  • running [´rʌniŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.奔跑的;流动的   (初中英语单词)
  • whistle [´wisəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.吹哨 n.口哨;汽笛   (初中英语单词)
  • meadow [´medəu] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.草地;牧场   (初中英语单词)
  • infant [´infənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.&a.婴(幼)儿   (初中英语单词)
  • velvet [´velvit] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.&a.天鹅绒(般的)   (初中英语单词)
  • innocent [´inəsənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.无罪的;单纯的   (初中英语单词)
  • slender [´slendə] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.细长的;微薄的   (初中英语单词)
  • youngster [´jʌŋstə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.年轻人;小伙子;少年   (初中英语单词)
  • breeze [bri:z] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.微风;不费力的事   (初中英语单词)
  • instant [´instənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.立即的 n.紧迫;瞬间   (初中英语单词)
  • appetite [´æpitait] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.欲望;食欲   (初中英语单词)
  • learning [´lə:niŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.学习;学问;知识   (初中英语单词)
  • chiefly [´tʃi:fli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.主要地;尤其   (初中英语单词)
  • mischief [´mistʃif] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.伤害;故障;调皮   (初中英语单词)
  • therefore [´ðeəfɔ:] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.&conj.因此;所以   (初中英语单词)
  • supposed [sə´pəuzd] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.想象的;假定的   (初中英语单词)
  • terribly [´terəbli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.可怕地   (初中英语单词)
  • breath [breθ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.呼吸;气息   (初中英语单词)
  • fright [frait] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.惊吓;恐怖;怪人   (初中英语单词)
  • delicate [´delikət] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.精美的;微妙的   (初中英语单词)
  • punish [´pʌniʃ] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.(惩)罚;痛击;折磨   (初中英语单词)
  • disgust [dis´gʌst] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.厌恶 vt.令(人)作呕   (初中英语单词)
  • helpless [´helpləs] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.无助的,无依靠的   (初中英语单词)
  • blossom [´blɔsəm] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.花;开花期 vi.开花   (初中英语单词)
  • jersey [´dʒə:zi] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.毛织运动衫;毛线衫   (初中英语单词)
  • pasture [´pɑ:stʃə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.牧场;放牧 v.吃(草)   (初中英语单词)
  • softly [´sɔftli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.软化地;柔和地   (初中英语单词)
  • actual [´æktʃuəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.现实的;实际的   (初中英语单词)
  • audience [´ɔ:diəns] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.听众;观众;接见   (初中英语单词)
  • kitten [´kitn] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.小猫   (初中英语单词)
  • working [´wə:kiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.工人的;劳动的   (初中英语单词)
  • laurel [´lɔrəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.月桂树(叶);桂冠   (高中英语单词)
  • lining [´lainiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.衬里;衬料   (高中英语单词)
  • learned [´lə:nid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.有学问的,博学的   (高中英语单词)
  • woodland [´wudlənd] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.树林,林地   (高中英语单词)
  • hearing [´hiəriŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.听力;听证会;审讯   (高中英语单词)
  • dainty [´deinti] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.秀丽的 n.美味   (高中英语单词)
  • severely [si´viəli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.剧烈地;严格地   (高中英语单词)
  • decided [di´saidid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.明显的;决定的   (高中英语单词)
  • clover [´kləuvə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.三叶草   (高中英语单词)
  • faintly [´feintli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.微弱地,软弱无力的   (高中英语单词)
  • clearing [´kliəriŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.(森林中的)空旷地   (英语四级单词)
  • unwilling [ʌn´wiliŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.不愿意的;不情愿的   (英语四级单词)
  • trying [´traiiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.难堪的;费劲的   (英语四级单词)
  • warning [´wɔ:niŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.警告;前兆 a.预告的   (英语四级单词)
  • boulder [´bəuldə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.大石头,卵石;巨砾   (英语四级单词)
  • painfully [´peinfuli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.痛苦地;费力地   (英语四级单词)
  • tinkle [´tiŋkəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.&n.(使发)叮当声   (英语四级单词)
  • unaware [,ʌnə´weə] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.不知道的;不觉察的   (英语四级单词)
  • tempting [´temptiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.引诱人的,吸引人的   (英语四级单词)
  • nervously [´nə:vəsli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.神经质地;胆怯地   (英语四级单词)
  • porcupine [´pɔ:kjupain] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.豪猪,箭猪   (英语四级单词)
  • taking [´teikiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.迷人的 n.捕获物   (英语六级单词)
  • cracked [krækt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.有裂缝的;碎的;粗哑   (英语六级单词)

  • 上传人 欢乐鱼 分享于 2017-06-26 17:09:15
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