Fox And Crow – The Contemporary version!

Note: The same old “Fox tricked the Crow” story, retold in a diff way.I was taking a walk in the park, alone. There were some reported sightings of a fox in this part of the woods, so no one took a walk here. Hence, I was alone. As a scientist, I’ve always loved to be alone, loneliness always gives me fresh ideas. I walked near this particular big tree and I wondered how long this tree might have been here. As I stood there looking at the grandfatherly grand tree, I decided to sit in its shade for some time.The tree spoke up “Hi there, How do you do?”, I was surprised but in my field of profession, nothing is really unusual. The tree went on “I’m so alone in this place, no one passes by because of the fox”. So there was a fox! I asked the tree to tell me about the fox and he(the grandfatherly) tree gave me this:”The fox has brought nothing but loneliness and pain to me. It was many rings ago”, eh? what rings, I stopped the tree and asked “eh?, what rings”. He said “you know, as seasons pass by, I get one additional ring every four seasons”. I said “ah, true, you mean years!, ok go on”. And the tree went on with the story “Many rings ago, I was a young tree, lush and green. Lots of birds perched on my branches. They built their nests, brought up their young ones in my care. You see, as a tree, I can move my branches and give shade where I wanted to. I always gave shade to the nests and looked after the young. My favourite was Ms.Crow, she would always have her food on my branches. One not-so-fine day, in retrospect, this fox came along. It was raining heavily and he was seeking protection from the storm””Is this the same fox, known as Mr.Fox”

“Mr.Fox? It is the same Fox alright, but I wouldn’t call him Mister. He is one wretched…” I stopped the tree, err.. Mr.Tree, before he went into a cursing monologue and said “Mr.Tree, please continue with the story”

Mr.Tree continued “where did I stop?, oh ya, the wretched Fox came to me seeking my shelter, after all I had the power to move my branches. The fox came to me, looking dejected because other trees were not willing to give him shade. He said to me “Oh, Mr.Tree, can you please give me shade, you have such a great spread out canopy”. I thought for a moment and since the “gentlemanly” fox had complimented me, I agreed to give him shade. You see, I was very happy that Fox had thought that my canopy was grand and good. The next day while the sun was at the zenith, the Fox was sleeping under my branch and Ms.Crow came towards me merrily cawing. I asked her what she was so happy about and she replied “I got a big piece of my favourite dish today”. You see her favourite dish was cheese. As she sat there cherishing her food, Fox got up. The way he looked at her, I didn’t like it a bit. He looked at thoughtfully for a minute and “Good day, Mistress Crow,” he cried. “How well you are looking today: how glossy your feathers; how bright your eye. I feel sure your voice must surpass that of other birds, just as your figure does; let me hear but one song from you that I may greet you as the Queen of Birds”

I noticed a canny resemblance to what he had told me last night, to get the shelter of my branches. Before I could realize and warn Ms.Crow, she had taken the bait and opened her mouth to sing. The piece of cheese fell down only to be snapped up by the Fox. As Ms.Crow realized her mistake, “That will do,” said Fox “That was all I wanted. In exchange for your cheese I will give you a piece of advice for the future: “Do not trust flatterers.” He winked at me as he gave that advice.

The word spread across the woods that I gave shelter to Fox and I was not a trustworthy tree. All the birds stopped coming to me. As people heard of the fox being spotted here, they too stopped coming through here.”

As Mr.Tree finished the story, he threw a fruit at me. The fruit hit my head hard and with a startle I woke up, only to realize I was dreaming. The fruit had fallen off the tree and had landed on my head. It was already 2 hours since I got out of the lab. As I was going back I noticed that all the other trees were crowded with birds perching on them except for that one tree under which I had rested. I wonder… there is a thin line between a dream and reality.


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