I’ve challenged myself to free-write a new story each day for one week. You can read about my thoughts behind the challenge, as well as the day one’s story, Help Me Mister, here. You can also read day two’s story, “The Dead Man,” right here, and day three, “Chess Story,” here.
As before, the challenge is to start and complete a new story each day for a week. The story can be any length, must be free-written, and can not be edited afterwards. Please excuse the resulting spell, grammar, and other literary idiocy.
Day Four: How Fox Got His Winter Clothes
The world used to be smaller, take it for truth. It didn’t take so much time to get from place to place. The world has grown now, but then it was smaller.
Back when the world was smaller, all the animals lived together by a lake. Of all the animals that lived by the lake, Fox was the laziest, but also the most clever.
“Fox,” the other animals would say, “we are working hard. You should be working hard too.”
But Fox would only laugh and dash off into the tall grasses. The other animals would shake their heads and go back to work.
Now back when the world was smaller, the days were longer. They didn’t have seasons like we do now. They were much longer. It had been summer for as long as anybody could remember and winter hadn’t come around yet.
“I’ve been talking to Moon,” Said wolf to the other animals. “He got into an awful fight with his sister.”
And that is what happened, take it for truth. Sun was so embarrassed after fighting with her brother that she began hiding her face. The world got cold and the animals knew that meant winter was coming. They all put on their warm coats and bundled up tight.
All this time Fox had been playing and laughing through the tall grasses. So when Moon and Sun had their fight, Fox hadn’t a single warm thing to wear. Bear suggested that Fox just stay indoors where it was warm, but Fox liked to play too much to stay indoors all winter. Remember, the seasons where much longer back then, take it for truth.
So Fox got a plan. He went out under the tallest pine tree in the woods, so tall that it touched the sky and one day Mouse climbed it so she could ride on Moon’s shoulders, but that’s a story for another time. Fox went under the tallest pine tree and rolled around in the pine needles. The pine needles were still sticky from the sap and they stuck to Fox until he had a nice warm coat of pine needles. He was already feeling much better but his feet were still cold as they were bare. So he took a walk to try and keep them warm.
As Fox was walking he came to the foot of the Lookout Rock, which was the very tallest rock in the forest. On the top of the rock, in his usual spot, was Crane. Crane was looking mighty fine and comfortable in his military uniform. Of all the animals, Crane was the proudest. He was always strutting about in his red cap and his fine white socks. Fox climbed up lookout rock and said hello to Crane.
“Don’t bother me,” said Crane. “I’m keeping a watch out for invaders. Go away, Fox. I don’t have time for your silly games.” Crane had a very gruff manner.
Fox thought that this wasn’t a nice way to behave. He was feeling grumpy because his feet were still bare and his toes were cold. Crane had warm white socks on, and Fox thought that Crane had no reason to be grumpy. So Fox decided to play a trick on Crane.
“You are such a brace watchmen, Crane,” said Fox. “Everybody knows that you are always keeping watch up here for invaders.”
Crane pretended not to hear but Fox knew he was listening; Crane was the proudest of the animals.
“Of course,” said Fox. “If I were an invader, I would know that Crane is always standing guard on lookout rock and I wouldn’t dare attack from the sky.”
And he meant it because back when the world was smaller all the animals could fly, take it for truth.
Crane adjusted his red cap, he was feeling particularly proud.
“If I were and invader,” said Fox, “I would be clever and probably attack from the tall grasses by the lake where I couldn’t be seen from Lookout Rock.”
Crane hadn’t thought of this.
“Yes,” said Crane, “I was just about to go stand watch in the tall grasses, but I didn’t want to leave Lookout Rock unguarded.”
“That is very brave of you,” said Fox. “Don’t worry, I’ll stand guard on Lookout Rock while you go watch for invaders in the tall grasses. Someday, I hope to be just as brave as you, Crane.”
So Crane climbed down to the tall grasses by the lake and stood guard. He was very tall and could easily see over the top of the grasses. After a little while Fox got bored pretending to stand guard.
“You know, Crane,” said Fox calling down to Crane far below. “It’s very clever that you are guarding the tall grasses. If I were an invader, I would know that Crane would be too clever to be fooled by such a simple trick. If I were an invader, I would have to think of an even sneakier trick and attack from the lake where I couldn’t be seen from the tall grasses.”
“Yes,” said Crane, “I was just about to go stand watch in the lake, but I didn’t want to leave the Tall Grasses unguarded.”
“That is very brave of you,” said Fox. “Don’t worry, I’ll take your place in the tall grasses and watch for invaders, so you can guard the lake against the cleverest of invaders. Someday, I hope to be just as brave as you, Crane.”
So Fox climbed down from Lookout Rock and went down to the Tall Grasses.
“Wait,” said Fox just as Crane was about to step into the lake, ”You have such a fine military uniform, Crane. If you go stand guard in the lake, your socks will get soggy and then you won’t look so fine anymore.”
“Yes,” said Crane, “But all the other animals are jealous of my uniform. One of them might see my fine socks laying on the ground and take them for himself.”
“Why then,” said Fox, “I would be honored to stand guard over your socks while you watch for invaders in the lake.”
“That is a fine idea, Fox,” said Crane, “but the water makes my feet very cold and I might start shivering. I can’t guard the lake properly if I am shivering.”
“Why then,” said Fox, “When your feet get cold, tuck one of them up like this.”
Fox demonstrated and Crane thought it was a clever idea.
So Crane took of his socks and lay them on the ground. Crane had very skinny legs but he was the proudest of the animals so he pretended not to care.
When Crane was out in the middle of the lake, he began to notice that the water made his feet very cold. So he stood on one leg and tucked in the other so that only one of his feet was cold at a time, just as Fox had shown him.
“Yes,” said Fox who was watching from the tall grasses, “Standing in guard in the lake is very hard work, only the bravest of animals would be able to do it.”
“Yes,” said Crane who was feeling particularly proud, “It is hard work, but I am very brave.”
“I could never stand guard in the lake,” said Fox from the tall grasses. “My feet are already cold, and I’m not standing in the water. In fact, my feet are so cold that I’m going to take this nice pair of warm white socks I found laying on the ground here. Thank you for keeping us safe from invaders, Crane. Someday, I hope to be as brave as you.”
So Fox took Crane’s white socks, put them on his feet, and ran off through the tall grasses, laughing and feeling much better.
Crane knew that he had been tricked, but he was too proud to admit it. To this day Fox is still wearing Crane’s white socks and you can find Crane proudly standing guard in the lake, trying to keep his feet warm.
That is how it happened, take it for truth.
Day four down, thanks for joining me! Have you tried anything like this or have your own writing challenge to share? Drop a comment below.