Fantastic Mr. Fox is a children's book written by Roald Dahl, first published in the US by Alfred A. Knopf in 1970 with illustrations by Donald Chaffin. Some later editions were illustrated by Tony Ross, others by Quentin Blake and Jill Bennett.
The story is about a fox, simply named Mr. Fox. At night, he steals animals from three mean farmers (Bunce, Boggis, and Bean) in order to feed his family. The farmers are fed up with this, and try everything to kill him. One night they wait outside his house to kill him. When Mr. Fox comes out of the tunnel, they fire at him; the bullet hits his tail, severing it. They also try surrounding the hill he lives in with men armed with guns. After three days of starving, Mr. Fox and his children dig a tunnel to Boggis' number one chicken house, and steal some chickens. They also raid Bunce's storehouse and Bean's underground cellar of apple cider. They invite everyone to a feast made from the loot and decide never to go above ground again.
Verse about the farmers
In the book, local children sing the following verse to taunt the three farmers:
Boggis and Bunce and Bean
One fat, one short, one lean.
These horrible crooks
So different in looks
Were none the less equally mean.
Fantastic Mr Fox has been adapted into an opera by Tobias Picker (libretto by Donald Sturrock).
The book is being adapted into a film by director Wes Anderson in 2007. See Fantastic Mr. Fox (film).
Editions of the book
- ISBN 0-375-82207-0 (hardcover, 2002) *ISBN 0-14-131128-2 (paperback, 2001) *ISBN 0-14-130753-6 (paperback, 2000) *ISBN 0-670-88025-6 (hardcover, 1998) *ISBN 0-14-130113-9 (paperback, 1998) *ISBN 0-14-038251-8 (paperback, 1996) *ISBN 0-14-032872-6 (paperback, 1988) *ISBN 0-394-80497-X (hardcover, 1970)