Three Fox Fables
Paul Galdone ~ Seabury Press, 1971
My son will tell you he is afraid of only two things, sharks and storms... but seeing as he is a friend of the fowl, his nemesis in children's books is usually the fox. After all, the wylie bad boy steals chickens or kidnaps geese... almost always acts shady, threatening pigs and trying to outsmart everyone with his sly charm. Simply said, my boy HATES foxes, or at least the sort of foxes that end up in children's books. The only one he will embrace as a hero is Dahl's The Fantastic Mr. Fox, but we can't let the reputation of an entire animal race depend one fictional character, can we? Sadly, the only reason he tolerates this one at all is because two of these three fox tales based on Aesop's Fables contain birds; a stork and a crow to be precise.
We begin with the story of the sour grapes (of course each ends with a moral)...
It is easy to scorn what you can not get.
... then onto the stork...
Tricksters can not complain when they in turn are tricked.
... and finally the crow.
Never trust a flatterer.
Here the fox wins some and loses some, as it is in real life with most of our endeavors as non-fox creatures. The Aesop stories have always been some of my favorites and although the fox is mildly sinister with his snake-like eyes and sleazy grin, he will endear after a page or two. One can't hoodwink and bamboozle all the time without winning a few admirers. We all have a little of the fox in us every now and again.
Hare and the Tortoise