In the gaze of the other

"My mistress' eyes are nothing…"

The Other Fox and Turtle Tale

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Credit: 4.bp.blogspot.com

A fox came upon a turtle who lived in a yard on the edge of the woods.
“Tell me, friend, why you seek my company,” the dusty, ancient turtle inquired with slow, suppressed suspicion.
It was late afternoon, tea time, and the sun, having given its all, began its climb down the other side of the arc.
Ingratiatingly, the reptile continued: “I admire your beautiful coat of rust and white, your distinctive inky markings that do outshine my own, and so am flattered by your attention and affection. But what can a turtle, slow and plodding, offer a field sprinter such as you?”
The fox replied with penetrating black eyes moist with the effort of sincerity and focus, deciphering the turtle from the browns and greens of the grassy earth:
“Your steadiness and deliberate consideration captivates me and calms my restless spirit. In truth, I have no use for you. I feed myself in game sprier and more tender, a daring and delight to hunt and digest. Your sloth and shell provide no sustenance, no amusement at all.”
“Then how is it you come here day by day and ask me about the climate on this side of the fence and where my keepers go? The master keeps no hens and the cats chase the rats, so no such offerings reside here for your devise,” the turtle in heartfelt curiosity prodded.
“It is a mystery. I cannot comprehend what you are and how you continue to be. Your design and reason for being in the grand scheme of the sun makes no sense to me. Who do you sustain? Why do your keepers find pleasure in your dwelling day to day in the grass, in the dirt, lying in the shade, at the pond or in the ground? And you, you have no mate. How shall you procreate? The sense of it escapes me, and so I come to ask and watch to see if I might understand what in this world you might be. Until the satisfaction of right reason comes, I am compelled to include you in my daily rounds.”
With that, the turtle was satisfied on each piquing point, and so withdrew a poking, bobbing head and four feebly clawed feet inside a sturdy shell, breathed one last long sigh before settling in for a long afternoon nap.
Signaled by this deliberate retraction to such a quaint retreat, the fox also withdrew to the green of the woods, disappearing into the rust of leaves and bark of the redwood sea–until the next late afternoon most assuredly would bring their acquaintance once again..

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