Friday, April 2, 2010

As the foxes tell it... (part 4)


Albert was tired of going to bed hungry, but more importantly the other squirrels were becoming tired of Albert (for you see, most forget the deeds you have done in the past and care only of the present and the future - once Albert's method of listening to the birds no longer provided easy meals, the other squirrels began again to pick on him, belittle him and taunt him with scraps). Depressed at his reversal of status he spent his days away from the others, alone and outcast by the river. So bad life had become that one night he decided to sleep out in the open and secretly hoped that his suffering would end.

The next morning he awake feeling better than he had in longer than he could remember. Well rested and warm, oh so warm, he kept his eyes closed for a few extra moments, trying to hold on to the happiness that he felt must be a dream. Eventually his mind would not let him rest, so full of ideas and visions he could not help but wake as the sun began to fall across his face. "You slept well little one. It has been a long time since we last met." spoke the fox… (For late in the night the fox had come across the little squirrel, shivering and unconscious. Curling his fur around to keep him safe, the fox had become intrigued and wanted to know the story behind such a strange occurrence).

Once he realized that the fox was not going to end his suffering, the little squirrel felt no reason not to tell his story, of how he had found his place, of how he became popular - and of course, how it was all lost. Now the fox, unknown to the little squirrel, had also suffered - perhaps not as greatly, but it was much harder to find a meal when the squirrel did not cluster together. As the squirrels had returned to scavenging about the wood, their distributed and chaotic movements also scattered the rabbits into the open fields. So much harder to sneak up on them in the open, and such a leaner meal than a seed fattened squirrel…

After a bit of thinking the fox spoke "Little one, I have seen the birds fly each morning over the flats where the water is shallow and the reeds are long. Perhaps your answer lies there…" Now this excited Albert for there was hope, no answers, but at least a reason to think that things could change, that things could become better - and so off he went in search of an answer.

It took the greater part of the day to find it, but once he knew to look for many birds flying together it wasn't that difficult to discover. He waited until they had all left and found out in the mud some writing [the red house with the white roof in the morning] and [blue barn in the backyard at noon] and [grey house with wooden deck evening sunflower]. He thought to himself the birds had adapted and used a different method to communicate. Rather than broadcasting to all - they now use a this little channel by the river to keep their secret. Walking slowly (and confidently) back to the woods the little squirrel had found he reason to live again, and unlike before he would make better use of his knowledge this time...

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