Photo credit: Seabamirum
The squirrel said to Fox, “Come, talk with me.”
“I think not,” said Fox. ” I know you, Tan-Tan the Trickster, and your tongue is a weapon.” She turned away.
Tan-Tan called after her. “I could make you beautiful.”
“In return for what?”
“Something small.” Tan-Tan winked, coy.
“Meh. What use is beauty? Will it feed me? Protect my cubs? No, I’ll give nothing for that.”
Tan-Tan stayed, gossiping and joking. Fox listened, even smiled. Clever is charming, after all.
The next day, Tan-Tan returned, chatting and laughing. Then: “Beauty could lure a mate.”
“No worthy mate values appearance over substance. I’ll give nothing for that.”
The third day, Tan-Tan tried again. “The other animals would treat you better.”
Tempting. Being the dull gray lump of the woodland hierarchy was tiresome. But, no. “Then they are fools. I’ll give nothing for that.”
Tan-Tan shrugged. “Fine. I only wanted the gift of your conversation. You give that freely, do you not?”
“Yes, but–” Only barks emerged.
Tan-Tan clucked his squirrel tongue. “My favorite part is, you knew better.”
Fox scowled at her bright, fiery fur, anticipating the dangers this fresh beauty would bring. She darted to safety, far too late.
Word count: 200. Written for this week’s Sunday Photo Fiction challenge. Big thanks to Al Forbes for hosting, and for providing the original photo, below.
Sorry I haven’t posted much lately. All is well, I’ve just been incredibly busy at work. I also lost a whole weekend worth of writing when I went to a three-day writers’ conference. It was totally worth it for the ideas and inspiration and meeting new friends and old, I just wish it hadn’t been in the middle of Killer September.
Photo © Al Forbes at A Mixed Bag