Why the Fox is Red

Hello again everyone!

I realize this is a day late, and I do apologize for that. After much debate and tweaking with ideas, I decided to post this little story today based on an old school project I did years ago. I hope you enjoy it as our belated "Writerly Wednesday" tale. I will, of course, still be posting for "Fat Friday" this week as well. Until then~!

 

"Tell us a story, tell us a story!" the young fox kits chanted as they pounced and pulled at the old, one-eyed vixen. Their small, black-brown paws thudded harmlessly against her pelt, and their white, milk-teeth tore at fur and little else. They knew better than to anger Shara, the old vixen.

Shara opened her single eye, the golden orb rolling to take in the sight of the three kits. Her old coat was not as sleek as it once was, coarse tufts sticking out in odd places whilst her formerly sharp teeth were yellowed and cracked. Yet her mind was as strong as it had ever been, and the intelligence of it glittered behind the single eye viewing the eager kits.

"Alright," she chirped, giving one gray speckled paw a lick. "Have you ever heard the tale of 'why the fox is red'?"

The little kits eyes grew round with wonder, their tiny tails shivering in excitement as they yipped, "Tell us, tell us!"

"Well," Shara began. "It all started with Brother Wolf and Brother Lion. Now, the Wolf and the Lion were having an argument. Wolf said, 'I am the greatest of the animals. I can run for days and never tire, I can hunt the largest prey, and am afraid of nothing.'

'Ha,' said Lion. 'That is nothing. I can climb to the top of the tallest mountain and not be seen. I can kill the largest prey before it knows it is dead. I am the greatest of the animals.'

"So the two argued, and round and round they went. Now, the Fox heard of the argument between Brother Wolf and Brother Lion. The Fox, like all foxes, was clever. So he thought to trick Wolf and Lion and prove that he was the greatest of the animals. But how? For a fox is not as big as Wolf and not as agile as Lion. But Fox knew he could do it. So Fox went to Sister Raven, and told Raven what they had in mind. Sister Raven was tired of eating Brother Wolf's and Lion's scraps, and thought it great fun. So Sister Raven agreed to help.

"Pleased, Fox went to the arguing pair and told them, 'You are certainly strong, Brother Wolf, and you are certainly powerful, Brother Lion, but are you strong or powerful enough to swallow the sun whole?'

"'Of course not,' scoffed Wolf.

"'No one could do that,' protested Lion.

"'I can,' said Fox. 'In fact, I can do it faster than you can run, Brother Wolf, and easier than you can climb, Brother Lion.'

"Angry now, Lion and Wolf agreed that they would see Fox do this. If he could, then they would agree to tell everyone that Fox was the greatest of the animals. But, if he could not, then they would take his tail from him, for he was very proud of his tail. So Fox agreed.

"So, Fox told them that he needed to be up high to swallow the sun. So the three of them, Lion, Wolf, and Fox, headed off to find someplace up high for Fox to be. First, they tried a tower of rocks, then they tried the tallest tree, finally, they tried the top of a mountain. But none of the spots were right. Furthermore, Wolf and Lion were growing short on patience.

"So Wolf said to Fox, 'I don't think you can really swallow the sun.'

"'Neither do I,' Lion added with a growl.

"Unconcerned, Fox told them, 'I can, and I will. You just need to wait, unless you are afraid?'

"Not wanting to be seen as afraid, Wolf and Lion agreed to go along for a little longer. So Fox took them back down the mountain and into the forest. Still, the sun was up, up, up, in the sky. It seemed like nobody could reach it. Yet, Fox was not worried. Now, Sister Raven had been very busy. Sister Raven went and took feathers from all around the forest, and with the help of her other Sister Ravens, they wove the feathers all together.

"Knowing this, Fox went and stood on the edge of a creek bank, and told Brother Lion and Brother Wolf he was ready to swallow the sun. Curious, the pair watched, for they could just see the sun high up in the sky above them past the treetops. Fox chose a spot, and looking upwards, he then ran forward and leapt over the creek so high that Lion and Wolf were surprised. He went up, up, up, and opened his little mouth as wide as he could...and swallowed the sun. Lion and Wolf cried out in surprise as Fox landed on the other side of the bank, and the sky was suddenly dark above them.

"Turning around, Fox then jumped back over the creek and opened his mouth wide...and the sun shone back in the sky once more. Terrified, Brother Wolf and Brother Lion ran away. They were afraid for they had seen Fox swallow the sun. As they promised, they told others what they saw, and Fox laughed and laughed and laughed. For Fox had tricked the silly Wolf and funny Lion. Sister Raven had covered the sun with all the feathers she wove together when Fox jumped, so that it looked like it had gone from the sky.

"But the Great Spirit of the forest heard what happened, and he knew that Fox could not truly swallow the sun. So he knew that Fox had tricked Brother Wolf and Brother Lion. Aware he could not let them continue to be fooled, he explained this to Wolf and Lion, who were then full of rage. They wanted to eat Fox for what he had done to them. But Great Spirit knew that was not fair. For Fox was not evil, but a playful being, who only wanted to have fun. So Great Spirit turned the Fox's beautiful coat a bright red, and told the creatures of the forest that it was a sign to not trust such tall tales from Brother Fox so that they might not be so easily fooled and Fox might not be eaten."


"But what about Fox?" one of the little kits yipped. "What did he do then?"

"Well," Shara the vixen replied thoughtfully. "Fox was rather pleased with his new coat, for now he had a beautiful red coat that was even more beautiful than squirrel's red coat. So he made up with Brother Wolf and Brother Lion, and they forgave him. Therefore, foxes are still the smartest animal in the forest, even if we cannot swallow the sun whole..."


 

Thank you for reading! If you enjoyed this "Writerly Wednesday" tale, then please press that heart button to let me know you want more of them. If you have ideas for future tales, let me know in the comments below. As always, thank you for your time and support. It means a lot to me.

~Mimi

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