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کتاب: آقای روباه شگفت انگیز / فصل 14

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14 - Badger Has Doubts

‘Just one more visit!’ cried Mr Fox.

‘And I’ll bet I know where that’ll be,’ said the only Small Fox now left. He was the Smallest Fox of them all.

‘Where?’ asked Badger.

‘Well,’ said the Smallest Fox. ‘We’ve been to Boggis and we’ve been to Bunce but we haven’t been to Bean. It must be Bean.’ ‘You are right,’ said Mr Fox. ‘But what you don’t know is which part of Bean’s place we are about to visit.’ ‘Which?’ they said both together.

‘Ah-ha,’ said Mr Fox. ‘Just you wait and see.’ They were digging as they talked. The tunnel was going forward fast.

Suddenly Badger said, ‘Doesn’t this worry you just a tiny bit, Foxy?’

‘Worry me?’ said Mr Fox. ‘What?’

‘All this… this stealing.’

Mr Fox stopped digging and stared at Badger as though he had gone completely dotty. ‘My dear old furry frump,’ he said, ‘do you know anyone in the whole world who wouldn’t swipe a few chickens if his children were starving to death?’ There was a short silence while Badger thought deeply about this.

‘You are far too respectable,’ said Mr Fox.

‘There’s nothing wrong with being respectable,’ Badger said.

‘Look,’ said Mr Fox, ‘Boggis and Bunce and Bean are out to kill us. You realize that, I hope?’ ‘I do, Foxy, I do indeed,’ said the gentle Badger.

‘But we’re not going to stoop to their level. We don’t want to kill them.’ ‘I should hope not, indeed,’ said Badger.

‘We wouldn’t dream of it,’ said Mr Fox. ‘We shall simply take a little food here and there to keep us and our families alive. Right?’ ‘I suppose we’ll have to,’ said Badger.

‘If they want to be horrible, let them,’ said Mr Fox. ‘We down here are decent peace-loving people.’ Badger laid his head on one side and smiled at Mr Fox. ‘Foxy,’ he said, ‘I love you.’ ‘Thank you,’ said Mr Fox. ‘And now let’s get on with the digging.’ Five minutes later, Badger’s front paws hit against something flat and hard. ‘What on earth is this?’ he said. ‘It looks like a solid stone wall.’ He and Mr Fox scraped away the soil. It was a wall. But it was built of bricks, not stones. The wall was right in front of them, blocking their way.

‘Now who in the world would build a wall under the ground?’ asked Badger.

‘Very simple,’ said Mr Fox. ‘It’s the wall of an underground room. And if I am not mistaken, it is exactly what I’m looking for.’

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