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A Lesson on Survival
By Jordan A.
age: 13
Other

The dense mist crept through the trees, hiding many things, including a mother fox and her cub. They stalked through bushes and plodded softly in mud. They finally reached their destination--the huge meadow in the middle of the forest where rabbits lived in their burrows.

The mother fox was teaching her cub one of the most important lessons: hunting to bring food back to nourish himself and his future family. The first burrow was occupied by a single rabbit. The rabbit was chewing at long reeds away from the safety of his burrow. Mother fox crept down on her haunches and steadied all her attention on her prey. Her cub copied and was silent.

There was a crack of a twig as the cub made a false step. Mother fox gave a quick, stern glance at her cub and turned around again. The rabbit had heard and was now nervous, standing upright. It was now or never! Soon the rabbit would scurry back to his burrow. She turned back to her cub, but he wasn’t there.

She turned around frantically forgetting the rabbit, now concerned for her cub. Then she saw him and gasped. He had crawled right to the rabbit’s burrow and was now blocking the entrance. She wanted to run and grab him, but her instincts stopped her and she sat down, wanting to see how her cub would do. She wasn’t expecting a kill, at least a chase, but she was wrong, as she would now see how extraordinary her cub was.

The rabbit was about to turn and head for his burrow but was bewildered, surprised to see a fox cub nearly on top of him. The cub pounced and just missed the rabbit. His mother stood in total awe. The rabbit had darted to the side but was nearly caught by a recovering, fast roll-over from where the cub had landed. The rabbit was fast, but the cub seemed faster. The rabbit ducked and darted and started heading for his burrow again. The cub then swerved around after a long leap to face the rabbit and slit one of the rabbit’s paws with a powerful swish of his claw. The rabbit turned around and headed back towards the reeds at a slower pace, leaving a trail of blood.

Mother fox was darting all over the place, watching her cub in total amazement. The rabbit was nearly in the reeds, but the cub made a final jump and landed right on top of the rabbit. They rolled into the reeds, beyond mother fox’s vision. She ran over to the reeds. There was screeching and then silence. Finally the cub emerged with the rabbit in his mouth that was twice his size and he had only a few minor scrapes of damage obtained from the rabbit’s sharp toenails.

Mother fox ran up to her cub and licked his wounds. She smiled at her cub with pride and love. She had been taught a hunting lesson by her own cub and she now knew he had something special that would not be found in many other fox cubs. The couple left together, side by side, and walked into the maze of trees until they were out of sight.
 

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