Image credits Window – Andrey Bobir; Fruit Center – Kevin Sloan
One day, a hungry fox stole some fruit from the tree where sparrow lived. Although the tree was laden with fruit, and she had plenty to spare, the greedy sparrow saw him and gave chase, determined to get it back. She believed the tree and all that was on it, belonged to her.
She flew high above, watching and following, as he ran and ran. Soon the fox grew tired and began to slow. When he stopped to enjoy his prize, the sparrow seized the opportunity and swooped down.
Just as the fox was about to bite into the juicy papaya, the sparrow tore off a strip from the fruit and spat it onto the ground. The fox looked at the spoiled food, dismayed.
“Why did you do that?” he asked the sparrow.
“Because that fruit is mine, and I’ll do with it what I like,” she replied haughtily.
The fox shrugged his shoulders and went to take another bite. But just as before, the sparrow darted in and tore off more flesh from the fruit, spitting it out onto the dirt.
Undeterred, the fox kept trying to eat. But each time, the sparrow stole his mouthful from under him, preferring to see it rot on the ground, than have another eat it.
Soon, the papaya was gone and the fox remained hungry.
Satisfied, the selfish sparrow flew away. The fox followed her with his gaze, making sure she was fully out of sight before, looking down and smiling.
The spiteful bird was so intent on taking back her fruit, that she had overlooked the most important part.
She had left the seeds.
And now, the fox could grow his own tree…
By Sarah ©2017
Author’s Note: This story is a little “left-field” and very different to my usual style. I really struggled to incorporate all elements of the prompt, so cropped the lady out of the collage. I took the quote as inspiration for the “layers” in my short story. The piece turned into a type of fable or tale that might be told for story therapy! There is obviously the literal tale, but underneath that, there is metaphor. It could be a tale of someone trying to break someone’s spirit but failing, as long as they have hope. Or a tale of someone who has the world, trying to keep others powerless. What is your interpretation? I’d love to hear it…
Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Special Collage – 6 August 2017