Gerald, Gerald the mangy fox,
Who would touch those manky locks?,
Not I, nor he, nor them, nor she,
Bugs and ticks and many a flea,
Have you ever seen a sight so sad,
As a fox dressed in a mangy rag?
Run, Run, Here he comes,
Run, Run RUN!
As the cubs danced and sung their cruel song, Gerald remained hidden amongst the undergrowth, listening intently. He remembered a time when he had also danced, sung and japed. Making fun of others, not realising how hurtful words could be. Now he knew exactly how deep words could cut.
He looked jealously at the other foxes, noting the way their coats gleamed like copper in the sun and the way that they moved, deftly and gracefully; without needing to stop and scratch or being kept awake all night by the tormenting of their fleas and ticks. Sometimes he would scratch, bite and chew himself until he bled, while upon other occasions he would wash himself in the stream until he was shivering with cold, yet nothing seemed to make it any better. His fur continued to itch, and most worryingly of all, continued to fall out.
At first the other foxes would merely chide him about his mangy fur, though as it grew worse, the chiding became teasing and the teasing became mockery. Before long Gerald could not go within a hundred metres of another fox without bails of guffaws and roars of laughter exploding about his ears. Now Gerald slunk away at the mere sound of other foxes, cringing at the very idea of hearing their mocking voices. Yet although Gerald may not have had a beautiful gleaming coat as the other foxes did, he did have another thing that all foxes should have in abundance: wits. And with this abundance of wits, that bounced around in his big brain, under his balding fur, Gerald made a plan.
Uthor sat staring at the rabbit carcass. A look of boredom marked his face, switching to that of annoyance as if what he was contemplating was somehow the poor rabbit's fault.
“Rabbits, rabbits, rabbits,” he grumbled belligerently. “I hunt all of the night, skulking, stalking and chasing and all I ever get for it is rabbits, rabbits, rabbits!”
“Surely having as many rabbits as you can eat is better than going hungry, isn't it?” hissed a softly spoken voice emanating from the nearby brush.
“Who is that? And why do you skulk in the shadows where you cannot be seen?” Uthor bellowed, jumping around in a full circle, his eyes searching, darting from place to place looking for the source of the voice.
“Who am I? I am a fox. Why am I skulking? Well, isn't skulking what us foxes do best? And besides, now that I've answered your questions, surely it's only polite that you answer mine? Surely having rabbits is better than going hungry?”
Uthor relaxed slightly, hearing no threat in the stranger’s voice, and remembering that the subject was one of his favourite bones of contention, one on which he thoroughly enjoyed to chew.
“Alas, being hungry would in some ways be a blessing. At least then when a rabbit were to come my way I could savour it, knowing that it was a rarity and a treat, not just another dull rabbit.”
“Some might say that that is somewhat ungrateful. I mean there are many other ways you could try and make your meals more interesting, for example, I cook my rabbits with onions, and for a real treat I might even help myself to a little beetroot on the side.”