Once upon a time there was a little fox who lived in a hollow stump by the river. She was a nice fox, but she was too shy. Whenever someone she didn’t know came around she panicked, and would hide or run away. Because of this, she didn’t have many friends, except one, and her name was Kiki.
Kiki was an owl. Together they hiked through the woods looking for berries and played games like “are you smarter than an owl?” But they could never decide who won. Then one day as they were on a walk, they meet a girl with the strangest skin, for it held black dots on it. And her name was Pepper.
She was the most beautiful creature they’d ever seen, and her voice was the sweetest melody that they had ever heard. As she sang and walked through the woods, all the animals would come out to listen.
The little fox, who’s name was Felix, began to stare in amazement. There were many animals following at the girls feet, and Felix longed to joined them, but her terrible shyness held her back. So she watched the beautiful creatures from afar for days, listening to her lovely voice, wondering what it would be like to talk to her.
Then one day, she was laying in a fern grove listen to the girl laugh and talk. It was such a sweet sound that she began to doze off. But she was suddenly awakened by the snap of a stick right next to her. Felix turned over and found to her horrified amazement that the girl was looking down at her with her big, beautiful eyes. Felix froze, for she knew not what to do. Pepper smiled and said:
“Aw you’re so cute! I love your fur! Muse, look what I found!” at her words she turned to look at this Muse fellow. But poor Felix was confused because she saw no one else there. This confused her so much so nearly forgot her shyness.
After a moment the girl turned to the air again and said “Oh hush Muse, she does not look like a red mop!”
As if from mist the head of a cat appeared, and the mist floated down until the rest of the body appeared, sitting on a nearby branch. “If you say so” the cat said with a tilt of his head.
“I do, and be nice Muse, or I won’t give you any hugs.” Said Pepper.
Muse lifted his head in an indifferent gesture. Meanwhile, Pepper turned her a attention back to the, still quite startled, Felix.
“And what is pretty little you’s name?” Asked Pepper.
Felix looked up at girl in a mix of fear, and admiration. Summoning up all of her courage, the little fox perched up her ears and said, “F-F-Felix”
“Well nice to meet you F-F-Felix,” Pepper said with a small laugh, “I love your red fur!”
Felix blushed, something she often did when praised, and smiled shying at the girl. At that moment they heard a swoosh of wings from above. And Felix let out a small yip.
A bold eagle swooped down and nipped at Felix’s ear. The poor little fox, startled and scared, took off into the woods.
“Oh Rune! Why did you have to scare her off,” Pepper said to the eagle as she landed on a branch nearby.
“What? the little pip-squeak got scared again? How’s that my fault? She should be tougher. And she’s a loner anyway,” Rune said with a slight ruffle of her tail feather. Pepper put he hands on her hip and gave a very stern look to the eagle.
“Be nice Rune, I mean look at you! Why wouldn’t a small lovely fox be scared of big ol’ you?” Pepper said with a huff.
Rune ruffled her feather again, taking that as a compliment. Pepper only huffed again. She loved all the animals in the forest, but sometimes Rune could really use better manners.
“Well I’m going to find her” Pepper said, and off she went to find the little fox that she had wanted to pet.
Meanwhile, poor Felix had ran so far and deep into the woods, she now found herself lost in the dark side of the forest. Her excitement and wonder at the the angel- like girl talking to her, had been crushed by the rude arrival of the eagle, and further shattered by her shyness as she’d found herself, on instinct, fleeing. And now she was lost and alone, in a part of the forest she’d never seen before.
Poor Felix was so frightened by this, she began to cry. “Oh woe is me, how will I ever make it back to my log beside the river?” Felix said as she began to walk towards the setting sun. The night was coming fast, spooky eyes looked at her from the shodows, and Felix knew this was no place for a little fox like her.
Suddenly there was a rustle in the trees and Felix froze, terrified of what it might be. A wolf? And stake? A bear?
Then out of the twilight flew Kiki! “Oh praise the Lord!” Shouted Felix as she ran to go tackled her friend. Kiki was so excited to finally find her fox friend, she couldn’t control her landing and flew right into Felix. The two friends tumbled together, laughing, and when they came to a stop, embraced. Not long after, foot steps were heard. And the Pepper girl burst through the trees, with the strange cat following close behind on his butterfly wings.
“Oh little fox! There you are!” Pepper scooped up the bundle of owl and fox and wrapped them in a tight hug. “Are you okay? we thought we would never find you!”
Felix struggled to get her head up and enough breath to say, “Yes, yes I’m alright.”
Pepper set them on the ground and squatted down to peer at her, “I’m so sorry about Rune, she can be so mean sometimes.”
Kiki flapped her feathers back into place, “I know, I keep telling Felix that. She always bothers us.”
Felix lowered her head in embarrassment, “I’m sorry I ran away… I’m terribly shy sometimes and get frightened.”
Pepper patted her head, “It’s okay cute little thing. But we need to get you home! Oh and I need to get home before Daddy starts to worry about me!” She stood up and looked around. Then she looked at Muse.
“Um, which way did we come?”
Muse looked back over himself from the tree branch he sat on. “That way I believe,” he said, pointing with his tail.
Pepper, Felix, Kiki, and Muse set out walking. But the woods didn’t start looking anymore familiar, and with the night fast approaching, they had to realize they were lost.
Clouds began to build and thunder rolled across the sky. The little party tried desperately to find a way home, but it soon became apparent with the storm and night upon them, that they’d better find a shelter instead. They ran and ran, looking for a big tree or cave or somewhere to escape the coming storm. Finally they found a fallen tree that was caught at a slant by another tree. And after placing as many large sticks as they could against it to make a wall, they all huddled under it.
The last rays of the sun faded and rain began falling. Felix sat curl in the girls lap while Kiki and Muse snugged themselves in among the sticks. Pepper stoked the little foxes fur, and Felix nuzzled the girl’s hand as they tried to comfort each other.
The storm must have subdued most of the predators that dominated that part of the woods, for they saw no yellowed eyes or sound of heavy paws or panting. So when they heard a sudden swoop and cry, followed by the crowd of running feet, they all froze in fear.
Then they heard the words, “Kiki! Pepper! Felix!”
“Rune?!” Pepper cried, suddenly springing from their shelter, “Rune! Rune we’re over here!”
Rune swept down to a branch and hopped from foot to foot in joy, “I found them! I found them, they’re here!” She flew away again and then came back, followed by a crowd of the good woodland animals and hundreds of fireflies to light their way.
The first to arrive where Felix and Kiki’s parent’s. They wrapped their children in tight hugs and held large leaves up to keep the rain off. The rest of the search party came up and breathed a sigh of relief or high-pawed each other.
Pepper stood and looked at all the different animals, then looked at the eagle, “Rune, how did you find us? What happened?”
Rune looked a little ashamed and said, “When it started getting so late and you guys still hadn’t returned, everyone started getting really worried. So I finally told them you and Kiki had run off after Felix into the dark side of the forest, so they started a search party. I felt bad about scaring Felix and making her run off, so I helped.”
“Aw thank you Rune!” Pepper said, giving the bird a quick hug, “I’m sure Felix will be happy to accept your apology. But first we all have got to get home! I think the storm is picking up! And the rain is starting to hurt!”
And so everyone ran back to their homes, in their burrows and nests, logs by the river and the warm arms of their father. The next day apologies were made, and life went on in the forest. Pepper still come to visit the forest very often, and Felix and Kiki made very good friends with her, and even Rune got along better with everyone. And they all lived happily ever after.