© A Mixed Bag – 2012
The Fantastic Mr. Fox was pissed. It wasn’t supposed to work out this way. He and his mates were supposed to outwit those three dumb farmers and steal all the food, but when he was raiding Bean’s henhouse, the old boy got the upper hand and caught him in a box trap.
Oh, it’s the middle of the night to be sure so he’s still in bed, but when dawn comes, the bastard and his two pals would have him cold and then where would the Fox’s family be?
“If you agree not to hurt us, we’ll let you out.”
“What? Who’s there?”
“Are you daft? You’re in a henhouse. We’re the hens.”
“If you let me out and I don’t hurt you, what is my family supposed to eat, not to mention my friend Badger and his brood? We have a right to live, too.”
“We know where the farmers keep their larder. Play it smart, and you’ll eat like kings.”
“Seems reasonable. Okay ladies, you have a bargain.”
Thanks to the tunneling skills of Fox and Badger, from that day forth, the livestock and the woodland animals cooperated and they all lived well.
I wrote this for the Sunday Photo Fiction Challenge of October 1st 2017. The idea is to use the image above as the inspiration for crafting a piece of flash fiction no more than 200 words long. My word count is 195.
Yes, I leveraged Roald Dahl’s 1970 children’s tale Fantastic Mr. Fox for this one. It was the second thing I thought of when I saw the photo. Actually, I thought three things.
First, that fox looked pissed. Second, the Fantastic Mr. Fox popped into my head, so I looked the book up on Wikipedia. The third was I didn’t have the heart to write about a dead and taxidermied animal.
I also didn’t think it appropriate (though it would be natural) for the fox to be freed only to kill and eat the hens, so I worked out a deal between the two “factions” where they’d all benefit.
True story. I used to live in a home in the local foothills and behind my house was a small wild area. We did periodically see a fox hunting out there who we dubbed “Fantastic Mr. Fox.” We even saw him once walking in our backyard with a mouse’s tail hanging out his mouth (presumably the rest of the mouse was inside).
Alas, he killed Mr. Duck’s mate at one point and the Duck was very cranky from that day on.
To read other stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.