Valentine’s Week – The Fox and the Hedgehog

The fox was loud. He dressed loud, he sang loud, he moved through the forest as if every living creature contained within it wished nothing more than to hear his every word. When others spoke, he pretended to listen, but really he was only waiting for his turn to speak again. He was, in a word, a boor.

The hedgehog was quiet. She dressed quiet, she sang only to herself, and then only in a hum, she assumed that she was an imposition on every creature that had to interact with her. She always apologized to her little breakfast of bugs before she ate, and sometimes after, too.

When the forest was captured by an evil queen, and all the critters made to kneel uncomfortably before her, the resistance that formed in the shadows of the great Elm and Oak trees drew from everyone. It took the quiet, it took the loud, it took the fox, and it took the hedgehog. And of all the unnatural things that happened to restore the forest to sovereignty, it was little remarked that the fox learned how to be quiet during the raids from the little hedgehog, and little remarked that the hedgehog learned how to roar fear into the hearts of the enemy from the fox. But the two who did remark on that, that is, the fox and the hedgehog, thought it a wonderfully strange thing indeed. And out of all that strangeness and all the evil of that year, together they found something loud and quiet both, something that filled both of them up and gave them hope.

Written on February 4th at the Memorial Art Gallery during the Valentine #Schmalentine event
for a man with spiky hair and his girlfriend.

This story also appears in a piece by the University of Rochester: