On a warm summer day, Crow was flying across a field when he spotted Fox laying below a pine tree that grew next to a slow flowing creek. It was the kind of place that prompted one to maybe take a brief afternoon nap or to quietly contemplate the peaceful ambiance of the place in which one found themselves. Crow noticed that Fox was smiling with a grin that started at one ear and continued to the next. It was obvious that Crow needed to learn more.
“Why are you so happy my fiery friend?” asked Crow from where he landed on the branch above.
Fox looked up at Crow and gently chuckled as he answered “Today has brought me good fortune my feathered friend. I have found a pit, filled with dangerous things as well as many delights. I am contemplating whether to return to it and harvest what I may. First, I must decide if the effort is worth my while and my well being.”
Crow smirked while Fox stared off into the field beyond, lost in contemplation. This Fox is weak & cowardly Crow silently thought to himself as he continued to watch Fox. Who would disregard so easily the opportunity to gain so much for so little reasoned Crow. I am able to easily do what he is not willing Crow concluded.
“Fox, my contented friend, would you be willing to share with me the location of this pit so that I may be better able to advise my friends as to how to avoid this hole filled with danger & misery?” asked Crow with a voice of concern.
Fox frowned as he stared into the sly eyes of the black bird. “If you are sincere in your intent I shall indeed advise you as to the location, but now I am faced with another consideration. Are you seeking this destination to better yourself or do you actually appreciate the dangers involved?” asked Fox with a soft toned response.
“Oh, I am indeed concerned for my friends & family as it would be a tragedy should they come across this danger and not have been forewarned. It is my fondest wish to be of aid to those who best stay away.” offered Crow with more than ample concern in his voice.
“I shall tell you where it is if you promise that you will warn the others and not attempt to enter the pit yourself, as you may find yourself a victim rather than a victor. Within the pit’s darkness may lay ruin & suffering.” warned Fox slowly with some sadness.
Crow smiled slyly as he assured Fox “indeed my friend, indeed … I am doing this only for the others and not for any reason regarding my receiving any gains.”
Fox hesitated for a moment and then decided that Crow is an older bird who may appreciate the maturity involved with such an endeavor and reluctantly came to the conclusion that Fox understood what he was intending to do and the risks involved.
“My feathered friend, you shall find what you desire at the end of this creek. When you reach the large lake into which these waters flow, you shall fly west along the shore until you find the twin Oak Trees. It is behind the Twin Oaks that you shall find this pit.” said Fox.
“Thank you!” yelled Crow as he leapt from the branch and started to soar in the sky as he began to follow the route of the creek below.
It took Crow a short while but Fox’s instructions quickly proved truthful as the pit eventually came within sight. Crow noticed as he landed on the edge of the dark hole that down below there were shadows hinting at snakes, bugs and various vermin. He also noticed that at the very center of the darkness there was a soft glow. Slowly his eyes adapted to the darkness and his heart quickened as he noticed the huge pile of gold chains, gems, rings & numerous shining objects of adornment.
Crow cawed in glee as he swooped down towards the glow. His journey was difficult as he twisted in the free fall to avoid the angered creatures below, but in time he reached his goal with only a few cuts, a couple of missing feathers and a bruise on his head that felt more painful with every passing moment. He took his time wrapping the thickest gold necklace around his neck and a few rings on his claws. He decided that he would come back for more after he found some other place to hide his new wealth.
As Crow leapt from the pit towards the moon above, the gold chain around his neck got caught in a branch protruding from the large alder bush along the rim of the pit. Crow began to feel the chain tighten around his neck as he frantically flapped his wings attempting to escape the grasp of his shiny find. He refused to let go of the heavy rings or to snap the binds of the gold chain wrapped around his neck. Eventually the chain tightened so much that Crow could not breath, his heart beating slower and slower as his lungs could no longer fill. As Crow felt the weight of his stilling body pull the chain tighter, he thought to himself, why did I not give more credence to Fox’s warning.
A few days later Fox was passing along the edge of the pit when he noticed something dark swaying to and fro just above the pit’s entrance.
As he approached the alder bush he noticed that it was the dead remains of Crow. Fox smiled and turned away thinking to himself, Well…. Crow is indeed a bird of his word. He found a most effective way to warn the others as to the pit’s dangers. He has gain much wealth in wisdom he has.
A warm breezes rustled the dry alder leaves as the dark eyes of Crow forever stare down below.