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The Sly Fox and the Clever Stork

A retelling of Aesops fable.

The lake was suddenly eerie, silent except the quiet whispering of the animals, enforcing the uncanniness. For the first time in decades, a foreigner intruded their dwelling. The animals had been sitting there for hours; the waiting and suspense almost unbearable. With a whoosh, the foreigner dipped down from her perch to drink from the lake. Finally, a slim figure who had been sitting in the shadows, slowly stalked to the tree. The top of his back, tail, and head was covered in gray hair, white on his neck, belly, and tinges on his legs, reddish on the bottom of his tail, and throat. His scientific name was Urocyon Cinereoargenteus, or more commonly known as the gray fox. Smoothly he called, “ Can you come to my house at midday for a small appetizer? My house is in the midst of a small group of willows.” “Hmm…” she replied, and nodded. He then turned and glided back the way he came. 

Noon soon arrived and the bird flew to the middle of the cluster of the trees. Finally reaching the center, she met a hollow tree. And in front of her was Fox sitting on the dirt floor. Glancing around the clearing, she noticed food, served on a shallow dish. As the stork watched sadly as the fox ate, she quickly realized the trick she had been swindled into. Pretending she didn’t know, she sat down. “Welcome to my cozy home,” he remarked. Swiftly he licked the soup from the plate, while the bird, who happened to be a stork, could only touch the brim with her large beak. Soon after finishing the meal, he stood and said, “ Well, I’m finished, so I guess you have to leave, I’m sorry,” the stork, furious at the trick, decided to have her revenge. Back to her perch on the sagging willow branch, she sensed the fox was back. “Perfect,” thought the Stork, as she spotted the rascal, “He’s smaller than the red fox I’ve seen.  Anyway, I’ve got work to do!” And with that, she alighted on the ground, and asked Fox, now close enough to hear her, “ In return for the appetizer, I would like to ask if you would dine with me?” “ Sure,” he blurted, not knowing that storks were also clever. The only thing that ran through his mind was, “I tricked the bird, and she pays back with a free meal!”  When Stork finished preparing, lovely aromas filled the air. Before Fox came and Stork started eating, the Fox sensed something was wrong, terribly wrong.  When he seated himself for the meal, he discovered the problem; as he had served Stork a plate, Stork had given him a jar, an equally impossible dish to utilize for the fox, but not for the stork with her long bill. After the meal, he returned home with his tail in his legs, admitting he got what he deserved. 

Moral: Do to others what you would want them to do to you.

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