Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Tale of Two Foxes

As you know by now, I love folktales. This one is an old Appalachian folktale that beautifully illustrates the blessings of Living in Truth and what we become when we live in Truth.

There once were two foxes who lived in a plentiful wood. One fox was tall and slim and the other shorter and stouter, but they were such good friends that the other beasts of the woods teased them and gossiped about them. Besides the teasing and gossip the foxes daily heard and saw much quarreling and aggravation from everyone around them. One day after watching two squirrels fighting over an acorn the taller fox said to the shorter, “Maybe we should be like everyone else and then they wouldn't tease us and gossip so much.”

“Yes,” said the shorter fox. “Maybe they know something we don’t. Maybe we should see why such a life is so pleasing to so many.”

“Then let’s try fussing and fighting so we will be like the others.”

“But how do we do it?” asked the shorter fox.

“I’ve seen the animals bite each other,” said the taller fox.

“But that would hurt and you are my friend. I don’t want to hurt you.”

“You are right,” said the taller fox. “Maybe we could argue about something and that would make us angry like it does the squirrels fighting over the acorns.”

“That wouldn’t hurt as much,” said the shorter fox. “But how do we do it?”

“Like this,” said the taller fox, and picking up two large sticks he shouted, “These are my sticks. You can’t have them.”

“If they are your sticks, Brother Fox, I don’t want them. I would never deprive you of something you wanted that much.”

“We are not getting anywhere,” said the taller fox.

“No, but maybe I can help. I’ve heard the bears say this and it caused a great turmoil.” And then the short fox growled as loud as a fox can growl and shouted, “These woods are mine and there is not room for both of us here.”

Startled the tall fox looked at his friend and said, “I like you. You are my friend. And I like this wood very much, but if you want to be the only fox in the wood then I will go. I will find another wood.”

The short fox looked startled, “You will go? But I don’t want you to go. You are my friend.”

“And you are my friend. I am happy you don’t really want me to go. I will stay.”

For a long moment the two sat silently. Finally the taller fox smiled, “Brother Fox, I don’t know why the others like this fussing and quarreling. It takes too much work."

“Yes,” agreed the shorter fox, “Let us be what we are and leave them to be what they are.”

And so they remained friends and were never again tempted to be like the others.

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