The evening after when Rory the Fox was taking his nap he heard one of his youngsters give a sharp cry. They were playing outside the burrow, he looked out and he saw that his three youngsters were afraid of something that was between them and the burrow. He looked again and saw the Weasel.
"Ahem," said Rory the Fox, "and how are we this morning?"
The Weasel had marked one of Rory's youngsters for attack. Although Rory spoke, he never took his eyes off the youngster he had marked.
"My dear friend," said the Fox, "I was just going to say--if you are looking for anything, perhaps I could tell you where it might be found."
"Crystal Egg," said the Weasel without ever taking away his blood-thirsty gaze from Rory's youngster.
"Oh, the Crystal Egg," said Rory the Fox. "Yes, to be sure. I could bring you at once to the place where the Crystal Egg is." He came out of the burrow and saw Gilly standing on the bank behind.
"I think it is time for my children to go back to their burrow," said Rory the Fox. "Please excuse them, my friends." The Weasel took his eyes off the youngster he had marked and the three little foxes scampered into the burrow.
"This way, friends," said the Fox, and he started off towards the Spae-Woman's house with the light and easy trot of a fox. Gilly and the Weasel went behind him. They crossed a field of flax, a field of hemp and a field of barley. They came to the broken fence before the Spae-Woman's house, and in front of the house they saw the Spae-Woman herself and she was crying and crying.
The Fox hid behind the fence, the Weasel climbed up on the ditch and Gilly himself went to the woman.
"What ails you at all?" said Gilly to her.
"My goose--the only fowl left to me has been taken by robbers."
"Ask her where the clutch of eggs is that the goose was hatching," said Rory the Fox anxiously, putting his head over the fence.
"And where is the clutch of eggs, ma'am, that your goose was hatching?"
"The robbers took the nest with the goose and the eggs with the nest," said the Spae-Woman.
"And the Crystal Egg was with the other eggs," said the Fox to Gilly. He said no more. He made a quick turn and got clear away before the Weasel could spring on him. He ran back to his burrow. He told the little foxes they must change houses again. That night they lay in a wood and at the first light they crossed water and went to live on an island where the Weasel never came.
"Where did the robbers go with the goose, the nest, and the eggs?" said Gilly of the Goatskin.
"They went to the river," said the Spae-Woman. "I followed them every inch of the way. They got into a boat and they hoisted their sails. They rowed and they rowed, so that the hard gravel of the bottom was brought to the top, and the froth of the top was driven down to the bottom of the river. And wherever they are," said the Spae-Woman, "they are far from us now."
"Will you come with me?" said Gilly to the Weasel, "we will track them down and take back the Crystal Egg."
"I engaged myself to be with you for a quarter of a year," said the Weasel, "and the three months are up now, Gilly. Winter is coming on and I must see to my own affairs."
"Then good-by, Weasel," said Gilly. "I will search for the Crystal Egg myself. But first I must ask the woman to let me rest in the house and to give me some provision for my journey." The Weasel looked up into Gilly's face and said good-by to him. Then Gilly followed the Spae-Woman into her house. "Ocone," she was saying to herself, "my dream told me I was to lose my poor goose, and still I never did anything to make it hard for the robbers to take her from me."