“How Mrs. Fox Married Again”
I guess there are two versions of this story.
There was a fox with nine tails who wondered how faithful his wife would be. So he pretended to die. He laid under a bench and waited. Mrs. Fox locked herself in her room. Soon, a suitor came to the door. The maid – a cat – went up to Mrs. Fox and asked if she would see the suitor. Mrs. Fox asked if he had nine tails, but he only had one so he was sent away. This continued until a fox with nine tails showed up and Mrs. Fox was ready to marry him when Mr. Fox jumped up and chased everyone out of his house.
When Mr. Fox died (either for real, or maybe this was a different fox) suitors began showing up to woo Mrs. Fox. They were a wolf, a dog, a stag, a bear, all sorts of wild animals. But Mrs. Fox turned them all down because they didn’t have “red breeches and a sharp nose.” Eventually, a fox showed up and she married him.
In the olden days either suitors showed up at the widow’s door the day they became widows, or the Mr. Fox – from the first version – played dead for some time.