The Fox and the Horse is a re-telling of the classic story by the Brothers Grimm. In this story, a farmer gets rid of his horse, Dobbin, because he is too old to work. Feeling sorry for the horse, the farmer gives him a chance to prove he still has worth. Through the help of a crafty fox, the horse is able to come up with a plan to stay on the farm.
Introduce the story by showing students the cover. Ask the following questions:
- What do you think the story is going to be about?
- Do the fox and the horse look like they like one another?
Next, listen to the introduction from the narrator. The narrator mentions that the story will be about an old horse and a clever fox. Knowing that information, ask students if they have any other predictions about the story.
Reading the Story
Begin reading the story with students. After each page, stop to ask students how they think the horse feels and what details tell them that. For example, the old horse was sad because he hung his head or the old horse didn’t want to leave because he did not move.
After reading the first couple pages, ask the students to answer the following questions:
- Was what the farmer did was the right thing to do?
- What are some other things he could’ve done?
As you read the parts of the book about the fox, ask the students to share details about the type of animal the fox is. For example, the fox is kind because he helps the horse or the fox is clever because he tricked the lion.
Finish reading through the story with students and get their reaction to what happened.
After Reading the Story
After reading the story, explain to students that a moral is a message that the story wants to send. Sometimes a moral is stated at the end of a story, but in this story, the moral is not really provided.
Work with students to come up with a moral for the story. A suggested moral might be: Don’t get rid of people or animals just because they get old or don’t give up on those who have been faithful to you.
Once you have come up with a moral, talk with students about ways the moral applies to students’ own lives. For example, they should not get rid of a pet just because it is getting old or they should keep their favorite teddy bear even if they’ve outgrown it.