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Fox Through the Forest — Chapter 2


Chapter 1

Chapter 2

For the first several hours of his journey, Malcolm felt good about his choice.  He kept thinking about the mountain and the waterfall and all those beautiful flowers.  But then his stomach started to growl and his pace began to slow.  He wasn’t thinking about the mountain at all now – what he really wanted was some food.  In his eagerness to start his journey, he completely forgot to eat breakfast and he certainly didn’t have any food with him now.

Malcolm looked around the forest.  This area was entirely new to him and he wasn’t sure what to do.  Then he noticed a big oak tree up ahead.  It looked warm and inviting so he decided to stop there and get his bearings.

As Malcolm sat beneath it, he leaned back against the trunk.  He wiggled back and forth, it felt so good on his tired body.  He suddenly didn’t feel so worried, so he closed his eyes just for a moment to rest.

RAWR!  Malcolm’s stomach had other ideas, though, and it let him know just what exactly that was.

“Oh my goodness,” said a chipper, squeaky voice from above.  “Was that you?”

Malcolm opened his eyes and looked up into the branches of the tree.  There high above, was a silver gray squirrel watching him.

“Yes,” Malcolm admitted.  “I’m on my way to see Nana Owl, but I left so quickly I didn’t bring anything to eat with me.”  He felt kind of embarrassed about his poor lack of planning, but as his stomach growled again he knew he needed help.  Now was not the time for pride.

“You poor dear,” said the squirrel.  “I only have these acorns.  They’re not much, but you’re welcome to have them.”

Malcolm saw that the squirrel was pointing to an opening in the trunk of the oak tree and it was filled with a stash of acorns.  Acorns were not Malcolm’s favorite, but in that moment he felt enormously relieved and so he told the squirrel, “Oh, yes, please.  Thank you so much.”

The squirrel tossed a bunch of the acorns down to Malcolm.  As he began nibbling on them, she scampered down the tree trunk.  When he seemed to be finished she asked him, “Is there anything else I can do to help you?”

“Tell me your name,” Malcolm replied.  The squirrel smiled at him.  “It’s Jersey,” she said.

“Thank you, Jersey,” Malcolm told her.  “Your kindness means so much.  I hope someday we can meet again,” and with his belly full and his eyes bright, Malcolm again headed off to the west.  He didn’t know what adventure lay in store for him next, but he now felt better prepared.

To be continued….

Fox Through The Forest


Chapter 1

Once upon a time in a forest far, far away, a young fox stirred in his den.  It was quite early in the morning – not yet dawn – and a few stars still twinkled in the sky.  But the time didn’t matter to the fox, whose name was Malcolm.  He had been having the most wonderful dream.  In fact, it was so good that upon waking he jumped to his feet, shook out his tail and then bounded out of his den bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

At that moment a cardinal landed on a pine branch nearby and began chirping away.  Malcolm usually loved to listen to this song, but not today.  He was so excited about his dream he interrupted the cardinal mid-tweet.

“Carl,” Malcolm called, for that was the cardinal’s name.  “You’re not going to be believe the dream I had!”

Carl stopped singing and peered down at Malcolm.  “Good morning to you, too,” he responded.  “Tell me my young foxy friend, what did you dream about?”

Malcom, who had been jumping up and down in his excitement, sat down on his hind legs so he could better see Carl.  “I saw a mountain so tall it reached the sky,” he said.  “And there was a waterfall with a swimming hole and so many flowers.  They were everywhere.  I wish a place like that were real.” 

Malcolm sighed because it seemed a place as beautiful and wondrous as that couldn’t possibly be true.

Carl ruffled his feathers.  “Maybe it is real.  Just because you don’t know about it, doesn’t mean it’s not.”

Malcolm thought about that for a moment, and as he did a little crease appeared between his eyes.  “Well how would I find it?  If I don’t know where it is or if it’s even real, where would I even look?” 

“I don’t know,’ Carl admitted.  “But do you know who might be able to help you?  Go see Nana Owl at the edge of the forest.  She knows everything.”

 “But that’s so far away,” Malcolm exclaimed.  The edge of the forest was miles and miles away from where Malcolm lived and he had never been so far from home before.  “What if I don’t make it?”

“So what if you don’t?” Carl spread his wings wide and shrugged his shoulders in response.

Malcolm again thought about it for a moment.  He decided he really only had two options.  He could stay in his part of the forest where he knew would be safe and secure.  If he did that, he was pretty sure he would never get to see the place he had dreamed of.  Or, he could try to find Nana Owl in hopes that she could help him find his way.  Malcolm realized that this choice certainly wasn’t a guarantee he would get there, but at least the mountain and the waterfall were a possibility with this second choice.

”Ok,” he told Carl.  “I’m going!”

“Wait, just like that?”  Carl flapped his wings in surprise.  “Don’t you want to think about it some more?”

“Nope,” said Malcolm who was suddenly feeling very brave.  “If I don’t go now, I may never go.”  And with a big smile and a swish of his tail, Malcolm trotted off to the west, which is where Nana Owl lived.

“Good luck,” Carl called after him and he began tweeting again as in farewell.  Malcolm did not look back.