There was a fox who wanted to cross a river. On the other side was wonderful food—rabbits and squirrels lazily resting on the river bank waiting to be eaten.
Foxes however, cannot swim, at least according to an ignorant talentless scribbler who poses as a writer of fables and knows nothing about foxes. So the fox paced, glaring haplessly at his intended prey and growing ever hungrier.
It was at that moment that the river spoke: “Why not go around me? If you trace my path surely you’ll find a fallen log or a bridge that will enable you to get to the other side.”
The fox considered this a good idea. Why not walk until I find a river crossing? And so he began a journey. As he walked for hours the hungry fox was continuously tantalized by the tasty animals just beyond his reach. On the side of the river on which he was walking, he found a vine full of grapes but he was disappointed to discover that they were sour.
The fox paused for an hour to pose for a picture by someone named Winslow Homer. Then he continued walking.
His spirits flagged and he was ready to give up when the river spoke again: “You’re almost there!” said the river. “Just around the bend up ahead you will see the way.”
So, the fox struggled on, moving his aching paws forward along side the winding waterway. He went around the bend and stopped and considered his surroundings.
“Where’s the crossing?” he asked himself. “I see no way across!”
“River!” he cried! “Where is the way across you, the crossing you promised?”
But there was no answer.
Morale: Rivers cannot talk and you should never listen to voices in your head.