A Bear in trouble
The Fox raised his paw from under his umbrella, waved and hollered “Good morning, Bear!” to the Bear. “Good morning to you, too, Fox”, replied the Bear and he went on “but sadly it is not a good morning for me at all!”.
“I have been waiting here with my ice drill for seven days now but the lake won’t freeze and I want to go ice fishing!” the Bear explained his situation raising the curious drill up for the Fox to see. The Fox noticed his friend’s downcast expression and wanted to comfort him.
He said “I am sorry, Bear” and asked “Can’t you just fish with a regular angler?”. “No, it is not the same!” complained the Bear. “And I also miss all the fun we had in the wintertime, skiing, skating and downhill sleighing!”. The Bear now looked very sad, indeed.
To convince his friend, he handed over a little notebook where he had marked the temperatures and water levels from the past three winters. The figures he had composed into a curve, describing the changing weather, and the curve looked very unpromising.
The Fox remembered how the winters in the village used to be cold and how he liked to go skating and play ice hockey on the icy lake while the Bear would sit and wait for fish further away. Now there had been only rain and sleet for many weeks on end with no hope of white snow falling or a freezing cold night leaving a strong ice cover on the lake.
“Yes, you are right, we did have fun”, he replied. “Maybe next year will be better, and meanwhile we can always stay indoors and make pancakes! I know how much you love those.”
However, he felt like it was not enough and added: “I have a plan!”
A Fox where you need one
To help his friend out, the Fox started to think very hard. He picked up a stick and started drawing a curious long nosed figure in the slush on the ground. In silence he set two little stones to the feet of the creature.
Explaining like a teacher the Fox begun: “In order to Change Things, we should do things in a Different Way!”, he pointed to the two little stones in the bottom of his drawing: “Look, here we are now”. He stepped on the foot of his drawing “and here is the Sun”, the Fox wiggled his paws over the two stones, imitating the rays of the Sun.
The Bear sat quietly listening as a good – and the only – student should. He stared at the drawing and pondered what all this had to do with his problem. He didn’t have to think about the little stones, as it was clear to him that the big one was he, and the smaller stone represented the Fox. He didn’t understand the part of himself and the Fox being in the belly of the long nosed creature.
Suddenly, something fell down on the two little stones in the middle of the make believe classroom. It was a tiny cone from the pine trees above followed by a little Squirrel.
“I am sorry to interrupt!”, the little Squirrel quickly apologized slightly out of breath, “My name is Squirrel, nice to meet you!”, he added. “Nice to meet you, Squirrel!” said the Bear and the Fox and they introduced themselves. “Now, we were just having a very important conversation, if you don’t mind”. “Please, go on” twittered the Squirrel, and asked “What are you guys up to?”.
The Squirrel had been listening to the conversation up on a pine tree branch as he loved to learn new things and had always wanted to go to school. The Bear signaled the Squirrel to sit down and the Fox picked up his stick and went on explaining were he’d left. “As a well known fact is, the Sun makes the snow melt, thus I conlude that in order to find snow, on e should go in the opposite direction, towards the North.” the Fox concluded.
The Bear sat a moment in silence, but then his appearance changed in one fell swoop as he understood the brilliance of the Fox’s plan. He rose up and said “What a clever plan you have, Fox! Why didn’t I think of that myself! Yes, that is what we should do, we should leave and travel North!”.
A Curious Squirrel
The Fox hadn’t been planning on actually making such a drastic change as leaving the village and he felt surprised at the turn of the events. Just a moment ago he had been taking his usual morning stroll by the river, and now he was embarking on a grand voyage.
The more the Fox thought about it, the more he felt curious and wanted to go.
The little Squirrel looked puzzled and begun asking many questions. “Am I that little cone in this picture?”, and “How do you plan to travel?”, and “What is the curious spiralling tool that the Bear is holding?”. The Fox explained as best he could and the Bear just stood holding his ice drill and looking astonished and stated again that the plan was indeed genious.
The Squirrel seemed happy with the answers and asked if he could join Bear and Fox’s Northern Exploration because he, too, wanted to go ice fishing. Yes, of course!” replied the Bear, “That would be fun.”.