The Story Of Fox & Mouse
Quand il me prend dans les bras, il me parle tout bas, je vois la vie en rose.
- Édith Piaf
“When he takes me in his arms, and speaks to me softly, I see the world through rose-colored glasses.”
It was a dewy morning when the mouse woke up in a panic. She swiftly swung her head only to see her little friends and family sleeping peacefully around her. She looked up at the sky, the sun was breaking dawn through the trees. Everything way okay, everything was familiar and this little mouse was content.
This Mouse didn’t particularly stand out amongst her fellow furry friends. She was funny, perhaps a little quirky, and little ball of energy — emphasis on little. She belonged to a group of mice that scavenged the forest every day looking for berries and, if they were lucky, little knick knacks. The Little Mouse was quite good at finding berries, only picking the most plump and juicy to bring back to her friends. They loved her for this and complimented her great achievements. Although the Little Mouse was happy to see her friends so excited, she knew that it wasn’t exactly what she wanted out of her small life. You see, this mouse, even with her small ears, little hands, and meager whiskers, had a mind that raced faster than her tiny feet ever could. She wanted to break out into the world and see what it could offer her. Maybe she had something to offer it.
One day, as the mice were picking berries in their usual bushes, the Little Mouse saw a flash of red in the distance. “What an intoxicating colour,” she thought to herself. With little hesitation, the Mouse hopped on all fours and headed towards the bushel of red. Perhaps it was a new kind of berry.
When she broke through the bushes, what she saw was not a new berry, but a beautiful creature. She watched as this creature raised his head toward the sky and drank in the hot sun. This creature radiated wisdom, confidence and excitement through his warm auburn fur. Although he towered over her, his disposition was welcoming and friendly. He felt little hands tug at his bushy tail.
“Hello,” he greeted the Mouse cordially.
“Hello,” she squeaked, “may I ask what you are?”
“Why of course, Little Mouse, I’m a Fox,” he smiled.
“A fox, you say. Why does a fox do?” Her curiosity was peaked.
The Fox explained how he spent his days playing, exploring, and hunting in the forest.
“Hunting! I hunt for berries every day too!” The Little Mouse was excited to have something in common with an animal so majestic as the Fox.
The Fox laughed, “oh I don’t hunt for berries, I hunt for all sorts of bigger things around the forest.” The Mouse peered around never considering there being any other food than berries.
“Anyway, I best be off, the bass are swimming towards the waterfall and-” but before the Fox could finish the Little Mouse jumped and begged for him to take her. He happily accepted.
The Little Mouse had never felt more alive. She was trotting through the forest on the back of a tall, beautiful creature. As the Fox swiftly moved through the trees and trails, the Mouse took in all the sights she could never see from the forest floor. She saw squirrels climbing trees, birds landing on delicate branches and the sun casting shadows on the rocks. It was as if she fell in love with the world all over again.
They came to a roaring waterfall. The Fox gently motioned for the Little Mouse to climb off. She did so, mesmerized by her surroundings. He went to the river bank to start his hunt for bass. The Mouse also went to the river bank, skipping from stone to stone to explore the gigantic waterfall. As she got closer, she saw faint colours playing on the water. She sat there to witness its magnificence. Eventually, the Fox found her in her happy daze.
“That’s a rainbow,” he explained, happy to share his wisdom, “they occur when sunlight reflects off the water droplets to show the spectrum of light.” The Little Mouse looked up at him both puzzled and craving to learn more.
After playing by the waterfall, they sattled up and went on their merry way. The duo went to drop off the Fox’s catch of the day. As they went down a tight burrow, the Little Mouse clasped onto the Fox’s fur. Once they reached the bottom she saw his small, cosy home. It was quaint and smelled warm like him. The Fox dropped the still bass on the ground next to a small frog and a worm. He saw her bewildered by the arrangement so he explained that this pile was his food for the month.
“That doesn’t seem like enough food for a creature such as you,” the Mouse replied.
“I used to have a family that I hunted with, but now I just hunt for myself.”
The Mouse’s heart sunk, “but don’t you feel alone?”
“Not anymore,” the Fox smiled.
As they climbed out of the burrow, the Little Mouse saw a berry bush. She jumped off the Fox’s back to show him how to gather berries.
“You can eat these ones if you run out of food!” She was so excited to show him something from her little life. The Fox tried a sour blueberry and surprisingly enjoyed the taste. She told him about all the berries in the forest and where to find them. He loved learning these small facts from her.
As they snacked on blueberries, laughing and playing, they heard a large branch break only to see a towering black silhouette. Before the Little Mouse could see what it was, the Fox grabbed her and ran towards the thicket. He laid down for cover, holding his paw over the Little Mouse. She peaked over his silky paw and saw the big black bear walking away. The outside world wasn’t as safe as she had thought, but in the scariest moment of her life, she never felt more at ease to be in the embrace of her new friend.
Once they deemed it was safe, the duo cautiously began walking out of the thicket. Before reaching the end, the Fox stopped. He gently took the Little Mouse off of his shoulders and placed her back on the forest floor.
“Little Mouse, this world is much too dangerous for you,” he said.
The Mouse was confused, “but the big black creature is gone. We’re safe now.”
“My life has many more dangers than you can imagine and I must return you back to your life.” His eyes looked away.
“But I don’t want to go back, I’d rather a life of danger!” she cried, “take me with you, I’m ready!”
He knelt down to kiss her forehead. He whispered “I’m sorry” and skulked away.
She cried out for him “Fox! Fox! Come back, Fox!” But he couldn’t hear her pathetic squeaks. She tried to jump and grab his tail, but her little legs and tiny hands were much too small, and the Fox was much too fast.
She saw the last of the beautiful red tail escape the thicket. The Little Mouse sat on the cold forest floor in complete silence. Her eyes had just been opened to the immense beauty of the world, but now they just welled up with tears.
The Little Mouse looked back at the tiny world she once knew, a world she was once content with. She looked ahead at the big world she just experienced. A big world that was waiting for her and that she wanted to share, now clouded with darkness. She tried to glimpse over the thicket, but she her little legs wouldn’t allow it.
She sat back down, slowly letting the darkness consume her. The Little Mouse, unsure of what do or where to go, just weeps. She wipes her tears with her little hands.