Fox left his den in search of food.
He searched the ground and found nothing,
and searched the trees and found nothing,
and finally looked to the sky,
where he saw a sparrow with lovely, shining feathers.
For a while, Fox simply watched, gathering his courage,
then finally he stepped forward and called out,
What are you doing up there?"
Sparrow whirled and wheeled and called back,
"I am enjoying the feel of the wind in my feathers
and the sun on my back."
Then Fox asked, "Won't you come down to earth and speak to me?"
Sparrow looked at Fox's lustrous, russet fur
and thought of Fox's kind, soothing voice.
But Sparrow remembered the stories Grandfather Aesop told,
and so he also saw Fox's gleaming teeth.
"No thank you," Sparrow replied,
"For the breeze is too lovely and the sky too blue."
So Fox thought for a moment, and then said,
"Then why don't you sit on the top-most branch of that tree?
Then you can enjoy the blue sky, and still talk to me."
And Sparrow couldn't see why not,
so he flew down to the highest branch of the tree
and together Fox and Sparrow laughed and talked.
And from then on,
every morning Fox left his den and went to the tree
and Sparrow came down from the sky.
And every day,
Fox would say to Sparrow, "Why don't you
come down one more branch? The sky is just as blue
and we will be able to hear each other better."
So every day, Sparrow hopped one branch lower.
And things went on as some things do,
and as Sparrow moved closer to the earth
he also grew closer to Fox,
until one day Fox asked Sparrow to marry him.
Sparrow ruffled his feathers with pleasure and embarrassment
and said yes.
Then on one fine spring day,
all the woodland creatures came together to celebrate.
The ceremony took place beneath garlands of
Queen Anne's Lace and Black Eyed Susans,
dandelions and daisy chains.
Choirs of birds sang hymns,
Great Horned Owl performed the union,
and Grandmother Grizzly prepared a wedding feast
of salmon and honey.
After the ceremony was over,
Fox and Sparrow met by their tree.
Sparrow perched in the lowest branch,
and Fox looked up at him adoringly, and said,
"Now that we are going to live together,
won't you come down to the earth
and join me?"
And with a smile, Sparrow did.
Fox went home happy to his den that day,
with new feathers for his pillow
and new bones to pick clean his teeth.
And the question we must ask ourselves is not,
"Why did Sparrow leave his branch?"
"Why did Fox wait so long for his meal?"