Thursday, March 4, 2010

As the foxes tell it... (part 1)

It is known that on the first day of fall the foxes of the older woods gather by the old mill. For a week they come together to dance and feast, to hold weddings and most importantly to tell stories. Tales of history and triumph, of passings and grief, of the newly born and of things recently discovered can be heard as one meanders about the crowd. Now on the first night tradition held that the oldest of the foxes would gather the first years (that's what they were called until they made a name for themselves in the world) before the bonfire and tell them the story of the ancient ones - the oldest story that any could remember. Perhaps the words change a bit each year but since a fox may only hear the story once it is hard to tell. All agree that the story usually begins like this:

When the woods were first made, all of the animals spoke the same language. It was a time without conflict, without suffering and pain, without fear or hunger, without anger or love. It was a time when all were merely satisfied with life, to wake and eat and sleep… but not to seek to be more, not to strive to better, not driven to understand anything… it was a world with less meaning than a shadow. It was into this world the first fox stepped (from where is not known) and at once the woods began to change.

For the fox, you see, is a trickster at heart. Not malicious or evil (and not the good peacemaker either) the fox is compelled to ask questions, to try new things, to seek the unknown, to upset the balanced and most importantly to dream of that which has yet to be…

On the first morning the fox awoke from slumber to find little birds picking about the ground, occasionally pulling seeds and catching small beetles. (lots of effort for such a small reward) thought the fox and so he asked the little birds "Why do you pick at the ground rather than feasting off the berries in the brambles above our heads?"

One of the little birds hopped upon the fox's nose, looked directly into his eyes and answered "The larger birds eat the berries and the smaller birds eat what falls". Now the fox thought this silly and replied "But why should you not also eat of the fruit at it's peak? Go now and try it for there are no larger birds here and the berries are ripe."

As the fox rose and began to stretch, that little bird (I think his name was Sam) was brought closer to the fruit and indeed he did eat of it. Finding in it a taste he had never encountered before - in a rush of adrenaline he burst out in song. This song, this hidden proclamation of significance that all animals have hidden inside themselves was heard… Each of the other little birds scattered about, in perfect synchrony stopped picking at the ground and took flight to set upon the bush and eat of the fruit with Sam.

Satisfied at seeing this, the fox shook off the last bits dust from his coat and began to stroll across the meadow...

Copyright 2010 Chris Thoburn (Tanukifu) - All rights reserved. Do not republish without consent.