FFfAW: The fox’s tale

I saw this photo prompt on Lynn Love’s blog and a story immediately sprang to mind. If you too feel inspired, here’s the link to the Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers prompt.

The photo is courtesy of Tim Livingston (the Forester Artist)


A long time it’s been here, nights and nights and more nights. Still the smell hangs in the air like death. Mice come here now and birds. Mice and birds don’t know much, don’t smell death. Not like us. Us knows.

Men comed here over and over in the thing, comed stomping with death in their hands. Us would run and hide. Birds didn’t. Birds is stupid, don’t know to hide. Us sawed what happened to birds. Then one time, earth opened and breathed, enough. Us heard. Men didn’t. Earth opened and men’s thing tumbled inside. They left it there, caught in earth’s jaws. Us waited and waited nights and nights and more nights. But the thing was dead.

Mice come here now and birds. Mice and birds don’t remember anything. Us remembers. Us stays away. Except when us is hungry and us remembers scampering stupid mice. Quick snap snap snap. Blood and tiny squeals. Then us runs away back to the safe earth.

A long time it’s been here. Still it smells of death.


Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

44 thoughts on “FFfAW: The fox’s tale”

  1. Amazing story! It gave me goosebumps! It sounds like little animals were telling the story. Wonderful Jane! Welcome to the FFfAW challenge. We are happy you have joined us!

  2. Lovely just lovely – I did not see foxes but did see stoats and weasels – loved the voice.

  3. Since the picture isn’t scratch and sniff, Great job bringing it to life Jane. I grew up in Washington state and we had a forest similar to this close to our house. Yes there was a dampness, sour smell at times. Especially if there were rodents about. Additionally , it’s my understanding that foxes have quite a scent. Peace

  4. Wonderful voice, as others have said. Knowing but not in a human way, in a way more in touch with the environment, with things of earth and green. Just love that image of the world saying ‘NO’. Truly love it

      1. The odd times I glimpse a fox in the early morning – we have plenty near us, skulking by the railway line – is always magical. There’s something fascinating about an animal that has been woven into mythology for hundreds of years but lives on our doorsteps. Really enjoyed this tale

      2. Thanks Lynn. It’s hard to understand why country people can’t see the beauty of foxes. Okay, they steal chickens, but chickens are always locked up at night and it shouldn’t be beyond the wit of man to design a hen coop that can keep out a critter the size of a small dog.

      3. But foxes can’t pick locks, can they? Once a fox gets into a hen house, I know the hens go berserk. I imagine the fox digs underneath. Clever little buggers.

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