The Fox--on line story about foxes for children
Shane on his hill
Author's Note Story for Children Fox
This is a story I wrote for my own children when they were young. I found some pictures in my files that my son Mark drew when he was nine and included them here.
Shane taking care of chickens
Shane follows a butterfly
Shane was a big, German Shepherd puppy who lived on a little but very busy farm. For example, he would spend hours sitting on top of a little hill over looking the road. As the cars and horses and other things went by, he could watch to see if they meant any harm. Most of them, he just watched as they went by. But, once in a while, he would bark at a rider on a horse to let the person know he was watching over the animals that belonged to the farm. Sometimes he would chase a car. That made him feel good, because they always ran away from him. Except once car stopped and a man got out and threw something at him. ‑‑‑He decided to leave cars alone for a while after that.
Mostly though, he spent his time taking care of the barnyard animals. He would wait until the chickens came into the yard to be fed, and then he would run up as fast as he could and bark. He thought this made the chickens eat better because they always ran around and made funny noises. He knew he was always more hungry after a good run.
He most enjoyed working with the cows and sheep. He would bark at them and then run across the pasture. The cows would follow. He thought that cows led pretty dull lives and that this game of follow the‑leader kept them happy. Shane’s mother told him that he was not doing a real herd dog’s work and that playing around like that would get him into trouble. Shane told her that he was too doing real work. Just to prove it the decided to take the sheep out for a nice walk in the country.
While his mother just shook her head, Shane barked at the sheep and ran ahead a little way until the sheep started to follow him. It was such a nice day that Shane forgot to notice where he was taking them. He ran under a fence but the sheep could not figure out how to get through. Shane did not notice that the sheep were no longer following.
In fact, he even forgot that he had taken charge of them. So when he found himself out in the woods on such a nice day, he decided that he had worked pretty hard today and it was time to have some fun.
He spent the next couple of hours chasing rabbits and squirrels. For a while, he followed a butterfly—until it flew too high for him to see.
It was then that he saw what he thought was another dog to play with. It was smaller than he was. It had pretty red hair and told Shane hat its name was Fox. When Shane told Fox about his work on the farm the Fox was very interested. He said that he would like to have work like that himself. “I can move very fast and I like animals”, he said. He was especially fond of chickens.
Shane went home that night very tired. He was happy to have met such a nice friend and thought how good it would be to have his friend work with him on the farm. He went right to sleep and forgot all about the sheep. The next morning, Shane woke up to a strange noise. All the chickens were cackling and fussing. He ran over to investigate. When he got by the chicken coop, he saw his friend, the Fox. Shane was glad to see that his friend had come over to help him with his work. Shane ran over and barked at the chickens.
Suddenly—he heard a growl and a sharp nip on his behind. “Who did that?” he said and turned to fight. There was his mother—growling and scolding him. “Now what’s she mad about?” he wondered. But before he could get over hi surprise, she ran after the fox. She jumped on the fox. Fox and dog went around and around in a fierce fight. Finally the fox ran away and she chased after until the fox reached the woody.
When she came back, the farmer patted her on the head and said, “Good dog, Sheila.”
Shane could not understand all this. He figured that maybe both the farmer and his mother had gone crazy. First his mother bit him for no reason and than was mean to his friend. Instead of punishing her, the farmer rewarded her. That didn’t make any sense to Shane. He might his friend again.
He decided to go out to the woods and find his friend. Maybe he could explain to the fox that it wasn’t his fault. Mothers do strange things sometimes.
As he trotted through the woods following the scent of the fox he heard sheep bleating. Than he remembered that he forgot to take the sheep back in last night. Shane was thinking about what he had better do about it, when he saw his friend, the Fox, among the sheep.
“Good,” said Shane to himself. “Now I will have help bringing t sheep home.” He felt he would like to have help, because the sheep were all scattered in different directions instead of being in a nice neat bunch, like he had always seen them before. Also, they seemed all upset and scared for some reason.
He started to bark and get them to follow him. Sometimes they did, but when he called to his friend, the Fox, to come over and help, the sheep stopped following him. It seemed to Shane, that the more he tried to gather the sheep, the more they scattered.
He was glad to see that his friend was trying to help. He could tell, though, that the fox was not very used to this kind of work. Instead of barking and getting the sheep to follow, the fox chased after them. Besides, he went after the little lambs. Every sheep dog knows that the lambs will follow their mothers, anyhow.
Shane ran over to tell the fox that. Just as Shane started to bark, the Fox did a very strange thing. He tried to bite a lamb. He would have too, but Shane’s barking startled the lamb and it moved. Than the Fox lashed at Shane and hurt him.
Shane was very confused. First his mother hurt him and attacked his friend. Now his friend hurt his sheep; and turned against him.
Just than, Shane's mother, Sheila, ran up and chased the Fox to the woods. Shane could not believe what happened next. First the sheep started to quiet down. They did not seem as scared either. Than Sheila seemed to run around in circles all over. She darted behind little groups of sheep and sometimes nipped at their feet. Sometimes, she just barked. Every‑ once‑in‑a‑while, she would dash off and chase a lamb back to its mother.
Pretty soon, all the sheep were in one bunch and Sheila started to herd them back to their own pasture. When they got back, the Farmer rewarded Sheila with a big bone.
Sheila let Shane nibble on the bone, but told him that after this, he must stop chasing the barnyard animals and to help her with the herding until he learned enough to do it by himself. He would also have to be more careful about who he chose for friends.
Shane sighed and wondered if he would get a big bone like this for himself.
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© 2009 Don A. Hoglund
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