Published on 2011/12/25

The Fox and the Hare

Alex Patrick

The Fox, a fiendish and clever creature, was on the prowl for a meal when he came across the plump, sumptuous Hare. Just before he could snatch the creature in his jaws, however, The Hare took notice and dived into his burrow.

Now this was very upsetting to the starving predator; there wasn’t another potential meal for miles. This Hare was his only option, and there was certainly no way he would give up now.

The Fox marched, huffing and puffing all the way, to the entrance of the burrow. He bellowed, in his typical boisterous manner, “Now, Hare, I demand that you come out here and show yourself!”

After several seconds, the Hare’s feeble voice echoed back through the burrow. “I’m sorry, sir, but I think I would rather stay inside.”

A creature of refined and cultured ensibilities, the Fox took this as a great offense. “Are you saying that I am not good enough to make your acquaintance?”

“No, sir, of course not,” the Hare meekly responded.

“Well then,” the Fox continued, “You have no reason to rudely ignore me in this manner. Be a gentleman and face me!” His voice, brimming with barely constrained rage, sent shockwaves through the hastily constructed burrow.

The Hare, his teeth chattering, took what felt like ages to form a response as the Fox tapped his foot impatiently just outside. “I don’t mean, sir, to offend you in any way, sir, but the tale of The Snake and The Mouse says to always be wary of strangers, sir, and I wouldn’t…”

“You still believe that old story?” The Fox, with incredulity now replacing his rage, interjected. Before the pitiful creature could reply, he added, “Surely you cannot be serious?”

The Fox’s booming fit of laughter shook the night, sending the nearby birds into a fearful scurry. His prey completely slipped his mind, only returning when the cheer slowly began to die down. He wiped the tears from his eyes as he returned to his scheming.

Finally he called out, “Are you still there?” After the Hare responded truthfully (Never being one to lie), the Fox, oozing with false sincerity, informed the creature that the story was for the unsophisticated and weak-minded. For minds of their caliber, he argued, different stories had to be followed.

“What stories? Have I heard them?” The Hare asked excitedly, won over by the implicit complement.

“No, no, no, of course not. They are only spoken of in more… distinguished locales,” Said the Fox.

“Can you tell me one of these stories, sir? Just one?”

“I don’t know about that. After all, if some of the riff raff here were to overhear us…”

The Hare cried out, “They won’t! I’m sure!”

The Fox flashed a devilish grin as he feigned reluctance in telling the story. From the top of his head, he concocted the tale of The Deceitful Worms. Where the eponymous worms placed no trust in other, seemingly scary animals; for their lack of trust, they all perished in painful and gruesome ways. Throughout it all, he immersed himself wholeheartedly into theatrics, trying everything in his power to render his captive audience even more so.

Fortunately for the cunning Fox, his scheme was a success. “Wow,” said the Hare. “I never thought of it that way before, sir. I guess I was very ignorant.”

“Well, don’t fret. After all, so very few have. Now, my friend, will you take the lesson to heart?” The Fox replied.

“I will! I will!” The Hare excitedly ran out of the safety of his burrow and into the waiting jaws of The Fox, who swallowed his meal in a single gulp. He slowly licked his lips, savoring the taste, as a feeling of self satisfaction took hold. He paused, admiring his cunning, and then began his travels anew.

As he trotted along he noted, to no one in particular, “You know, one should always be wary of the intent of the story teller before blindly adhering to the story’s moral.”

Alex Patrick, a High School Senior from New Jersey, has dreamed of being a writer from a young age, dabbling in several distinct genres and styles throughout his school years. This story was one of those experiments, attempting to somewhat emulate the style of Aesop's fables. He one day hopes to write professionally.