The next day the foxes emerged from their dens, each still grinning with a mad glee from their exploits of the previous night.
When passing foxes asked why they all had such a twinkle in their eye they could contain themselves no more and boasted of another world, where the game did not run or hide and had no tiny burrows to scurry away to: a place where the meat was tender and juicy and so plentiful that if a fox were to eat twenty chickens a night for twenty years, there would still be a bountiful supply left-over.
Dapper went on to claim that it was his deftness and speed that had made the whole venture possible, while Uthor would blather on about how without his great strength all would have failed. Though every time they would boast Clarabella would remind everyone of how it was her stealth that allowed them their success. Yet not one of them mentioned Gerald.
“Come, come there is plenty for all!”
“Follow us to the land of abundance.”
The three foxes set forth once more for the farm beneath the precipice. All the other foxes of the Wilderwood marched behind them, licking their lips in anticipation for what they were sure was to be a most excellent meal that awaited them. Well of course, all but one.
Every night from then on the foxes would march out from the Wilderwood and down the hill to the farm of men, and every night they would come back with their bellies full of plump and juicy fowl. After a few nights had passed they had heard the growl of dogs as they crept towards the farm. Despite some mutterings of concern, this was little problem for the daring plunderers, for what is a fox if not cunning?
Dapper had run to the far end of the fence, darting back and forth, whining loudly to get the attention of the dogs, which as expected had come bounding over, barrelling futilely into the fence, saliva drooling from their maws as they barked, growling and snarling as they tried desperately to get to the intruder and rip the soft orange and white fur from its throat. Yet Dapper merely fell back into his favourite reclined position. He lay on his back with an air of easy nonchalance, safe in the knowledge that no matter how much noise and drool the baying hounds made they would not break through the fence.
Meanwhile the other foxes snuck beneath the fence and into the furthermost coop. Then, with a flurry of speed, they dashed inside seizing their prey amongst a burst of frenzied clucking and flapping. Although the dogs turned at the sound and started to bolt back to its source, the foxes were too quick and too clever, dashing away before the dogs could get near. Once again the foxes went to sleep, each with a stomach full of chicken.
Buoyed by their exploits and filled with arrogance and daring anew, the foxes congratulated themselves unabatedly.
“No dog could ever stop a fox,” said one.
“Their brains are as soft as the drool that dribbles from their mouths,” said another.
“While we foxes are as bright as our coats, dazzling you could say,” spoke a third.
So on and so forth they bleated all night, telling tales of their boldness and wits, singing songs of their strength and guile, each louder and more boisterous than the last: so loud in fact that they were heard throughout the Wilderwood, by every beast, bird and leaf.
Soon the foxes had found more farms, each filled with as many as or more chickens than the last, and so they continued to spread forth, plundering through the realms of men. Not only did they find chickens, but geese, ducks, pheasants and even the occasional lamb. Never before had they feasted so well and on such a magnificent variety. Every night the foxes returned to their dens without a word of complaint. No longer would they moan about the boredom of eating rabbit every day, nor of how they had to pay their dues to the guardian of the Wilderwood. In fact it was almost as if they had entirely forgotten about Great Oak, though Great Oak had not forgotten about the foxes.