The Sleepy Winter

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

A fable genre Jean de la Fontaine I originally wrote as a class project. Could also be considered a children's story. Please leave your thoughts and suggestions!

The leaves were now vibrant shades of red and orange. They tumbled gently to the ground with the slightest wind and crunched beneath the paws of all the woodland animals. The animals could sense the coming winter by the crispness in the air. Everyone from the scampering squirrels to the bounding deer were preparing for the long season ahead. The animals always dreaded winter because they could never save up quite enough food to last until spring.

Then one fall, there was one fox, an ordinary, scraggly kind of fox with red sparse fur and a rib cage jutting from his sides who had started preparing way back when the flowers were still coming to bloom and the other animals were raising their young. In fact, the only thing special about this fox was his foresight and his greed. The fox didn’t have any young to raise in the spring because that would mean hunting for someone other than himself. The fox was so greedy that he didn’t leave the other carnivores anything to eat. Anyhow, while all the other animals were scavenging to find enough food to last through the winter before the last leaf fell and there was no more food to gather, the fox casually meandered about trapping a few more tasty rabbits.

There was another animal in the very same forest as the greedy fox who had a very different approach to the foreboding season. This animal was a bear. A big brown bear with big brown trunks for paws and plenty of extra fluff. The bear spent his every waking moment sticking his paws in beehives or fishing in running streams, and of course, being a sleepy kind of bear, he spent lots of his time curled up in a nice little burrow. Unfortunately,  when winter came around, the bear had not saved up any food. He had passed the year doing what he enjoyed and never any work.

One day the greedy fox happened to be walking around the forest, dragging in another meal, when he heard what sounded like a roaring coming from below a pile of fallen leaves. After a little investigating, the fox discovered the source of the thundering noise. It was the bear asleep in his burrow. The fox scoffed at the bear and continued on to his own den in the hollow of a tree. He buried his latest catch with all of the others under the hardening ground. Doing this made him scorn the bear as he thought of all of his own hard work. The fox knew that the bear had eaten every scrap of food he could find and had saved nothing for the winter.

A little over a week later, the first snow fell. The bear was once again deep asleep when he felt a cold sprinkling settle upon his snout. The unpleasant sensation startled him awake. That was when the bear realized that winter had arrived and that he had nothing to eat. He climbed above ground and began to look around. It was no longer the leaves that crunched beneath his paws, but the freshly fallen snow. He searched and searched, but could not find a single living thing to eat. After turning over nearly half the forest, the bear was cold and miserable, and headed towards home. Along the way, he passed by the old rotted tree where the fox slept. The bear had seen the fox bringing home various small animals, so the bear decided to give it a shot. He humbly walked over to the tree and thumped his large paw on the bark. The fox peaked around the corner, saw the bear, and sauntered out.

“What do you want?” The fox asked curtly.

“I was just wondering if maybe you wouldn’t mind sharing just a little bit of all that food you have saved up?”

“Let me ask you something. Was I the one who told you to spend all your time having fun instead of getting ready?”

Disheartened, the bear turned and moped despairingly back to his burrow. He crawled down, shut his eyes, and fell into a sleep so deep he did not even snore. Only a couple of days after the bear went to sleep, the fox noticed a terrible stench outside his den. It was coming from underground where the fox was keeping his food. The fox had started his store too early and all the meat had gone bad. With not a single animal left for the fox to scrounge, he climbed back into his hollow and the fox went to sleep as well.

There was a deep grumbling that finally woke the bear. He was looking around to find the source when he realized that the noise was coming from his stomach. That’s when the bear heard birds chirping outside. Rays of sun were blinding his sleep-filled eyes. He crawled out of his hole in the ground and saw that the spring had come. He then spied a beehive a few trees down and went in search of breakfast. In the hollow of a nearby tree, there was one animal that would not wake to find the snow had stopped falling and spring had come again.


Submitted: July 28, 2015

© Copyright 2022 IzzieRose. All rights reserved.

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Evelyn Mason

Aw, that was kind of sad but not unexpected. You have a talent for telling stories. This was really fun to read! Good job!!

Tue, July 28th, 2015 2:18am

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