Fox Who Didn't Like Bullies.
Draft in 1962)
was a fox named Ponnick who liked to sit by himself and think
He lived in
a part of the forest where most of the foxes were bullies who
only talked about how they could beat up everybody they knew.
He sort of
had a girl friend named Eslyn. Well, he liked her a lot, but he
was afraid to tell her. Lately, he realized, he was thinking about
her a lot, how pretty she was, how nice her voice sounded, he
even liked the perfume she wore, and perfume used to make him
gag and choke.
It was a grey
and windy evening. The air smelled like it would rain soon. Ponnick
watched a quick little bird zoom from flower to flower, on a vine
that climbed trees around his favourite thinking place.
He heard somebody
running, and thinking it might be a bully fox coming to beat him
up he jumped and swirled around and bared his teeth and got ready
to fight back.
him and skidded to a halt, suddenly terrified that he was going
to fight her.
"Oh, it's you.."
"It's only me."
isn't ONLY you- being you is a good thing." Ponnick blushed.
confused, then swallowed and looked down, "Oh-" she smiled to
Ponnick thought, "She knows I like her, she'll probably make fun
of me now.")
Eslyn looked worried, "I came to tell you... There are a bunch
of foxes talking about you. They say -they think you think you're
better than they are because you don't play with them and they
say they're going to find you and beat you up."
softly, ("bullies....!") he bared his teeth, "I'll bite
them hard- Somebody has to show them how stupid it is to pick
Eslyn looked scared, "You're better than that, and besides,
there's so many of them and they're the really big guys, I don't
want you to get hurt-" she blushed and looked at the ground.
Me!" he thought, "Wow!") but then he thought he could smell danger
in the wind, "They're coming."
we going to do?"
looked into the wind, and blinked, "My cousin, Trouble, lives
on the other side of the pricker thicket. he showed me the secret
way through it. We can escape that way, quick, but we have to
leave a false trail... follow me."
He ran to
the edge of the deep cold fast stream and then stopped. She almost
ran into him, "Now back up-" he whispered.
up for quite a way, then, "Stop-" he whispered.
So did he.
at the edge of a flat rock. To one side there was a steep ravine,
"Jump where I jump, watch-"
landed on a fat tree branch from a fallen tree and hopped a few
jumps out of her way as she jumped after him.
into a thick clump of fat leaves and made themselves very quiet.
a lot of feet running. The bullies were trying to be quiet. Then
one of them growled, "Stop, I smell them, they stopped here..."
he looked right at the spot where they were hiding.
sniffed, "They stopped here, too, then they ran to the river."
have heard you step on that branch, you clumsy jerk-" one fox
growled at another.
couldn't have heard that, I'm as quiet as you are...."
to the stream. They know we're after them and they're running
have told him, when we catch them, I'm gonna beat her up, too."
"Go to the
stream, you jerk, you're in my way... I want to see that stupid
fox's face when he knows we're going to kill him!"
They all growled
and ran toward the river.
Eslyn on the shoulder and pointed, then he hopped toward the pricker
He sat down
at the edge of the thicket, then rolled to his side and rolled
under some low branches, into a pile of leaves. He disappeared.
these prickers were especially nasty ones, and she'd just seen
Ponnick vanish. But she sat, then rolled and felt herself fall.
Her eyes opened
wide and she saw a slippery metal hole, Ponnick was sliding down
the hole in front of her and then it was real dark, and then suddenly
the evening was very bright and Ponnick was rolling out of her
She hit a
bump and rolled and then rolled toward Ponnick, landed in a heap
right next to him.
her shoulder with his paw, "Are you okay? I should have told you
about that bump."
Her arm tingled
where he touched her, she looked at his paw, then nodded, "I'm
okay...that was fun."
"Yeah it was,"
Ponnick grinned, "My cousin told me I shouldn't come here too
often or any enemies would smell my way here... but-"
Somebody with a very large and scary voice.
Eslyn jumped to their feet, ready to fight to the death-
Somebody with a very happy laugh, and a very quiet whisper, "You
two make almost as much noise as those bullies on the other side
of the ravine." They couldn't see who was whispering to them.
coming...?" Ponnick whispered.
"No- one of
them thinks you both died. The stream is swollen today and it
smells like something just died there."
"No you didn't,"
a medium sized adult fox stepped out of the shadow of a bush with
thick, nice smelling leaves, "You're lucky you have me looking
out for you."
Ponnick's shoulder and looked at the older fox.
you to introduce her to me, cousin...."
his eyes, "Oh, I forgot my manners, having a girl friend makes
"Am I your girlfriend?"
"Uh, um, uh, do you want to be?"
worried, looked at the ground like somebody had left a very important
message there, then she smiled, "Okay-"
"Cousin Trouble, this is Eslyn."
nodded, looking wise, "Eslyn..."
heard of her?" Ponnick looked worried, "Trouble knows a lot about
a lot of things, and people too..."
"I knew her mum when we were kits together."
his mouth to say something, but Trouble signaled for quiet, then
whispered even more quietly than before, "Follow me, but look
out, this is what humans call a junk yard. There's lots of old
metal stuff here and it's sharp."
very carefully. There were lots of rusty things and lots of broken
things everywhere and if they made a lot of noise, the bullies
might hear them.
and pointed up, at a pretty steep angle. He climbed a low branch
and then stepped out onto something metal and rusty, and hurried
the rusty metal and tested it with his paw, then stepped quickly,
but not as quickly as his cousin.
at the metal and thought it was the metal skeleton of something
big. She climbed more slowly than the other two.
very high, above most trees, where the metal skeleton had a big
metal almost square thing attached to it... that square thing
was half full of of dirt and decaying leaves, and had some small
plants growing from the dirt.
used to dig very big holes in the ground," Trouble whispered,
"Humans call it a steam shovel."
grow stink weed in it?" Ponnick asked. He wanted to hold his nose.
been here so long that very old leaves turned to dirt and birds
ate stink weed fruit and left the seeds here. "
like the smell either, she wrinkled her nose and didn't want to
go any closer.
not to smell as he breathed, followed Trouble's careful steps
into the stink weed.
When the stink
weed ended there was nothing between them and a very long fall.
Ponnick took a step back. Eslyn stepped up beside him.
He was afraid
she'd think he was a coward, so he whispered, "Be real careful..."
and stepped close to the edge again.
(quietly), "I don't want to look..." she closed her eyes.
are..." Troubled whispered.
her eyes and turned to see what they were looking at.
were staring into the stream. They were sniffing the air and looking
down stream. They were talking but the stream was making a lot
Or maybe it
wasn't the stream, maybe it was the wind. It sounded like wind,
but it sounded like quick short blasts of wind and then it was
quiet. And she couldn't feel the wind on her fur.
her head and saw Trouble looking right at her, "That's not the
stream and it isn't the wind... That's a human road, a big one.
With lots of very dangerous cars."
"Can you hear
my thoughts?" she whispered.
"Your ears move when you listen hard."
to herself and looked toward the sound. Cars? They had their lights
on, and it was almost dark. But-
"OOoo, " she
whispered, "There's awaterfall over there-"
"A very nice
waterfall-" Trouble whispered, "And a little bit farther that
way, well, I have a girl friend too, and she lives over that way,
and when the cars don't come in a big thick line, we can run between
them, it's almost safe."
over there," Ponnick whispered.
go before the rain, this steam shovel thing can be slippery when
it gets wet," Trouble turned around and led them (slowly) down
the scary skeletal arm of the steam shovel.
It was almost
fully dark when they reached the ground. Their eyes were adjusting,
but lights from the road kept lighting up plants and rusted metal
hurt my eyes," Ponnick complained, in a whisper.
see what it does to deer," Trouble answered, then he led them
along a path that smelled like deer and blood. "That's what's
dead in the stream," Trouble sniffed the air, "Left its leg way
up there and hopped on three feet until it lost too much blood.
to rain, a fine mist. Lights from the cars made the mist look
The path led,
almost in a straight line, to a hill that looked down at the very
wide road. There were thousands of lights coming at them one way
and hundreds more coming at them the other way.
"I don't like
this..." Eslyn said.
"I don't either,"
Trouble said, "But it's almost the time when cars stop coming."
a terrible screech and a loud crash. Even Trouble jumped.
was another screech and another crash. This time fire jumped around
some of the cars.
ran back down the path. But the rain started falling much harder
and he led them under the thickest leaves he could find.
some very scary noises for a while and then Trouble raised his
head, "That's very strange. No cars at all...." He looked at both
of them, "Let's go before they come back."
of them ran like death was right behind them. They ran across
one wide road, jumped over one big cement fence and ran across
another wide road. They ducked through some thick bushes and
ran up a short hill. And dove into more thick bushes.
panted, "now we can rest."
"I don't like
the smell of that road," Ponnick panted.
dies there, every day. Some days a lot of somethings die there."
Trouble was looking back at the road. "Those red and blue lights
and that awful noise we heard, I think that means humans died.
It's dangerous here. Don't ever try to cross that road again,
unless you have to."
she looked scared.
back and thought he saw shadows of bully foxes, growling and baring
their teeth, "I never want to go back there, anyway."
"Well, Janine wants me to stay over here, she's got a nice cozy
den. It doesn't have a steam shovel, but it doesn't have that
the air, "It's raining harder again."
"Follow me..." He ran around a boulder and found another deer
path. They ran quite a way and then Trouble stopped, smelled
the air and pointed. "Little Cave- Bear used to live there.
Bear tried to cross the road. Now his smell is gone." He bounded
up a slight hill and dodged around a wet rock and two very wet
and Eslyn followed.
"I don't like
it," Eslyn said, "too big. Too easy for a bear or a dog or something
to get in here."
"There's a real nice tree near the waterfall. It still smells
like me. Little bit hollow. Lucky hollow tree. Almost can't find
the opening. Has a nice tunnel out the back. Nice and warm in
winter. You can have it. But tonight, we better stay here."
after that they heard something that sounded like broken thunder
and saw a huge light in the sky come right at them and then turn
away. All three of them almost ran.
quietly, "Smells like fearful death... and stinky fire."
for a moment, sniffed the air, "Better get used to the idea. We're
here for the night."
a soft spot to lie down. A few moments later he felt Eslyn lie
down beside him. He started thinking about how nice she smelled.
He dreamed about streams and roads and fire and bullies dying
on the road. When he opened his eyes it was almost morning.
smiling at him, "This is fun." she whispered.
out of a shadow, "It's almost daylight. Let me take you to the
tree. If you like it, you stay inside and listen to all the sounds
and sniff all the smells, I think you'll like it. If you don't
I know some other places."
at each other and nodded.
He led them
out into the morning. They hurried until the smell of fire and
death was gone.
ran over stone and between sweet smelling trees. They walked between
pine trees and into a world of soft pine needles. They stopped
beside a gurgling stream and drank some very good tasting water.
led them through a cool, shady section of pine forest where they
stepped on nice soft pine needles.
"Oh, it smells
so nice here..." Eslyn said.
He thought of how nice her perfume smelled when she was resting
next to him.
Then he heard
rain but the sun was bright.
them around a fallen tree and they stepped out onto stone that
was covered by fresh pine needles, looking at a series of small
water falls that fell down a long gradual hill.
come here because it's too rocky. They can't build their dens
here without working way too hard." Trouble grinned.
"Yeah, humans are bad news."
she remembered the stories the elders always told about how mean
and stupid humans were.
to the edge of a pool of quiet water and sniffed it, "Smells okay..."
"It's better than okay, even when everything is frozen, there's
good flowing water here. And berry bushes over there... and a
pricker thicket around there that keeps a lot of animals out of
a secret berry patch. I'll show you the way in, maybe tomorrow.
But right now, I have to go see Janine..."
said, "Where's our tree?"
"I'm sitting on it."
Not the fallen
tree, but a very old and knobby tree... It had to be about four
feet wide, but it wasn't very tall.
"It's a very
wise old tree, and it has bark that hides the entrance." He ran
around behind the tree and disappeared.
Eslyn walked around the tree several times and then Trouble was
standing there again. He smiled and showed them his secret. They
were marveling at the space inside the tree and the tunnels that
ran under it and between the roots and then Trouble said, "There's
a really nice bed in there where a lot of pine needles came down
a tunnel during a heavy rain. That's how I found the secret way
out... follow me..."
quickly around and between tangled roots and crouched low beneath
another root and then went down a sudden slope and was gone.
him slowly, then cautiously peered around another root and there
was the outside... almost, he had to crawl under another root
and then stood in the sunshine. Two fallen branches, some flat
hard stone and a wall of flowers filled the world around him.
As soon as he stepped over to the flowers Eslyn was beside him.
leaving, those are my secret berry bushes, follow your nose and
you'll find the water that runs in the deep roots, so you don't
even have to go outside in the winter..." Trouble bounded up the
slope through the flowers. "If Janine isn't busy, maybe she'll
come back with me tomorrow and we'll see how you two kits are
doing..." he chuckled, they watched his tail seem to float in
the air above them and then he was gone.
our new den," Ponnick smiled.
"I love it."
Eslyn kissed his cheekbone, "This would be a wonderful place to
start a family."
mouth fell open and his eyes almost popped out. He didn't think
she saw how silly he looked, but she started laughing really hard.
Then she kissed him again, "Hide and seek.... you're it." and
is going to be a lot of fun...." he smiled.
and explored all day. In the early evening they slipped out their
new front entrance and circled around through their new neighbourhood.
saw foxes, smaller foxes, kind of reddish blond foxes. But the
foxes bowed and stepped back and disappeared. They were so silent
that Ponnick wondered, "Maybe we really got killed on that road
by a truck we didn't see and this is Fox Heaven? Maybe those foxes
are angel foxes..."
and shook her head.
Janine came the next day. Janine brought a mouthful of nice smelling
stalks of some kind of plant that smelled almost as nice as flowers.
She whispered something in Eslyn's ears and then both the women
foxes rolled around on the nice smelling stalks.
for a while and Janine told them that Trouble decided he was going
to move into her den with her.
For two weeks
Ponnick and Eslyn explored their new forest, only catching quick
little glimpses of their new fox neighbours.
said, "You know, we've found so many great places to sit and think,
I don't know which one I like best."
said, "You have to pick your own favourite spot, or just keep
going to a different spot every day.... I think I'd like to
go look at my favourite spots, too, do you want to come?"
gone far, when they walked into a small clearing where three older
foxes were sitting and maybe eight or nine young foxes were sitting
in a circle around them.
adult foxes looked at them and smiled, bowed and nodded.
All the younger
foxes bowed and nodded, too.
sorry..." Ponnick said, "We'll go somewhere else."
have to leave. We have watched you for two weeks and we know you're
not like your brothers on the other side of the man road. We don't
need to hide from you now..." One elder, a woman, said, "We'd
like to welcome you to our forest. We knew your cousin for years,
and you may live in his tree with no interference from us. If
our berry bushes dry up in a hard summer, we may sneak into your
secret berry patch and take some of your berries. That's all."
Eslyn sat down, "I'm Ponnick and this is Eslyn."
bowed again, The kits all bowed. They all introduced themselves
but they had such confusing names that Ponnick couldn't remember
any of them.
"So why did
you take the perilous journey across the man road?"
"I don't like bullies and they didn't like the way I never bullied
anybody. Eslyn warned me they were going to try to kill me and
we ran away."
nodded to themselves and then, another one spoke, "We have found
it a blessing that the man road keeps those other grey foxes across
the road. They do have a mean streak."
"What do you
look for every day?" the last elder asked.
looked around, "I had a favourite place to sit and think about
things. Since we came here, there are so many nice places to
sit and think... I keep trying to decide which is the best."
kind of things of did you think about?"
his head, he thought they would think he was silly, "Oh, I used
to wonder why all the foxes I knew were such mean bullies to each
other and I used to try to think of things that would make life
better for all foxes."
elders looked at each other and nodded. "Did you think of anything
that would make life for all foxes better?" The woman elder asked.
felt very stupid. He'd thought of a lot of things, but right then
he couldn't remember anything, "Oh, I don't know, I thought that
if we could sit and talk together, we'd all have ideas that would
be interesting and if we shared them, we'd come up with all sorts
of good ideas."
mouths fell open, "You thought that talking about what we think
in private might make all our lives better? Young one, you certainly
are wise beyond your years. Will you come and talk to us often?
I do believe we could learn a lot from you."
Eslyn stood up and bowed, then finished their walk.
when they went out more and more foxes stopped whatever they were
doing and bowed. Even the kits bowed to them. At first, they felt
silly bowing back to every fox they saw, but it wasn't long before
it felt like a normal thing to do.
showed up two weeks later, "Hey, cousin, they think you're some
kind of hero here. Everybody's talking about ways to make all
foxes lives better, and they're coming up with some pretty good
ideas. They showed me a man-made cave under the road, where
a sometimes streams flows. It's safe, and the other end is near
a village of skunk dens, so nobody will ever find it." Trouble
ginned widely, "Ya know? I came very close to our old village
last time I was over there, and I heard those idiots talking.
They were all bragging about how they scared you into running
away, they think you died in the stream..." he shook his head,
"I almost laughed out loud, over here they think you're an angel
fox sent from heaven and over there they're really happy they
drove you away...."
# Edited and Posted: 6 February, 2004 10:40
Cathi's kids [aged 12 & 7] January, 2004
with Strange spheres flying around (Digital Camera, Colour levels
(Psychic Photo? A friend got similar 'visitors' on photos taken
at a funeral)
stalking the evil box of tissues.
Captured, now what?
find the boy for the family portrait... 7 Feb, 2004
& Cathi W/Snow Bank - 7 Feb, 2004 - Still couldn't find
the boy... : )
behind the video camera, yes, his ears are pointed....
painting and custom painted walls)
looking for a little bit of peace, but we found him...
hiding under bed, with ball.
with her eyes closed, wishing we'd gone away.
young woman and her dog, 7 Feb, 2004