One bright day, as the sun shone brighter than it does now, and the earth was greener than it is now, (for they were young and proud of their beauty) Woman was taken with a desire to take a walk.
Woman went on a walk most days, usually with her mate, Man. But Man had taken ill that day and chose to stay home.
Woman feared she would likely be lonely without her mate to keep her company, and decided to ask Vixen to accompany her.
As Woman prepared to leave, she gazed lovingly at Man, seeing him to be beautiful for who and what he was. And as she thought about his beauty, she recognized her own beauty- for who and what she was.
Stepping outside her den and shaking out her dark hair, Woman called out to Vixen, “Vixen, Vixen! Will you join me to wander this morning?”
And Vixen trotted out of her own den, and shook the dew from her crimson coat. “Yes, my friend, I would love to.”
So they fell into step beside one another, and talked of the days and the nights past.
But you see, Vixen had been noticing that Woman and Man had grown a bit proud. She knew they were wonderful, just as all the animals were, in their own way. But Vixen thought that Woman might think herself better than Vixen.
“Why, Woman. You look cold. I am sorry that I have only one fur coat, and you have none. Such a pity that Nature did not provide you with one.”
Woman smiled and replied, “My dear friend Vixen, I have a more powerful source of heat. You see, Nature put me near fire.”
Vixen nodded slightly. But Woman, though she responded confidently, could see that Vixen and her mate did seem to have an advantage over her. After all, Vixen and Fox could carry their heat wherever they went, while she and Man were quite a bit more limited in their uses of fire.
Vixen smiled suddenly, “I’m sorry, friend. I did not mean to offend. Come; let us run to keep warm. Surely we are matched in that ability.”
And with that, Vixen broke into a wild gallop. Woman took off gleefully after her, but it was soon apparent that she would be left far behind, “Vixen! Wait!”
Vixen halted and trotted back to Woman. Cocking her head, she asked in concern, “Whatever is the matter, my dear Woman? Can’t you keep up with me?”
Woman shook her head but, suddenly insecure, replied, “But I am stronger, and I am sure I would win in any physical fights.”
Vixen’s eyes brightened, and she cried happily, “Well, let us wrestle, then! A mock-fight, between friends!”
Woman nodded, and crouched down.
Vixen dipped her head, and they ran towards each other, grinning. Woman picked Vixen up around her stomach, and Vixen twisted out of her grasp. Vixen batted at Woman’s legs, trying to trip her up. Woman hopped through the scheme. Woman grabbed at Vixen’s tail, and Vixen whirled around and bit down on her hand. Woman cried out in pain, and Vixen let go, surprised, “I’m sorry!”
Woman shook her head and gritted her teeth, “Not at all, friend. You have won!”
Vixen tucked her tail, whining softly. She was sorry she had set out to destroy her friend’s confidence. Softly, Vixen excused herself and walked home alone, ashamed of herself.
Woman decided to go to the resting place of Nature, the Great One.
Kneeling before Nature, she cried.
“Why, Nature, have you made me this way? My mother, my teacher, my life, why did you do this to me?”
Nature frowned and asked gently, “Made you what way, my child?”
“Why have you taken my fur from me, mother? The other mammals are blessed with thick, beautiful fur, and I have none of it, save for my head. The other mammals keep warm and happy while we humans must huddle close to the fires we have made to keep from dying.
Why have you taken my swift paws from me, mother? The rest of the animals have been given dainty toes to balance themselves on, strong ankles to propel themselves forward, and thin legs to keep them moving. I have flat, ungainly feet that keep me slow and sluggish. My ankles are useless, and my legs are fatty and soft.
Why have you taken my jaws from me, mother? You have given the other predators strong jaws with sharp teeth, and the instincts to use them for hunting and feeding. You have given me this hopeless mouth, awkward and weak, with flat and feeble teeth to chew both our plant food and our animal food.
Why would you do this to my kin and I, great mother?”
Nature frowned again, appearing to be thinking, and sighed. Finally, Nature shrugged and told her,
“I ‘unno. Comic relief?”


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