The Fox I

Somewhere deep in the forest, where a small stream flows, two Darwin’s foxes have burrowed a den underground. Sometime during the beginning of spring five pups were born. For the first few days as they lay beside their mother, they were unable to see their surroundings, everything was dark and uncertain to them. They could feel the warmth of the soft soil beneath them and smell the earth around them. Their mother wasn’t too worry about giving them a name and thus called them all Fox.

When Fox finally opened his eyes, all he saw was dark, brown soil, roots his parents and his siblings. He quickly learned that he had to share his food, his bed, and even his parents attention. He also learned he wasn’t smart and brave like his older brothers or fast and cunning like his younger siblings. He was the middle pup and he found life hard. He was small for his size and often felt pushed around by his siblings. He wasn’t like them and they knew it.

He was often left behind as they were embarrassed to be seen with him. Fox didn’t think there was anything wrong with him. He would often look into the reflection of the water to see if he looked normal. He certainly think he did, unless there was something they saw that he couldn’t. Sometimes, he did feel different and wondered why his family didn’t accept him as so. Maybe different meant something terrible. At least in his family it did.

He knew he wasn’t fast enough or brave enough, though he tried. Perhaps he had a diverse talent than his siblings. Talent that he had yet to discover, but being a fox there was little time for discovery. Time his parents did not allow to explore those talents. A fox needed to be born with these instincts. They were predators and scurrying for food was a priority. His father was rather short with him.

“Fox,” his father would sternly say. “Let your brother do the hunting. Don’t get in the way.”

“But father,” Fox would pleaded. “I want to try.”

“Try! foxes don’t try. We act upon our instincts” his father snorted. “There is no trying out here in the forest. Survival is important. You will never survive if you try.”

Fox could hear the snickering of his other siblings.

“Is he really our brother?” wondered one older brother.

“I don’t believe he is,” said another. “I think he was taken in.”

“He must be the runt of the litter,” said a younger sister.

“Maybe he is not even a fox,” said the other. “He surely doesn’t act like one.”

Poor Fox, had to endure their criticism. He never felt sure of himself and often lacked the self assurance to ignore their remarks. Their words cut him deeply and he would slink away from their judging eyes. He would go into the woods, towards a pond where he would stare at his reflection for hours. Always wondering if he was really a fox. On Talking Terms