Two foxes go walking in the woods. These foxes have always been good friends and neither one could fathom a way in which their friendship would ever diminish. 

But as you know from stories, this means their friendship was sure to diminish very shortly.  

One day the foxes came across a large tree that fell during a thunderstorm. It was actually kind of surprising that this tree had fallen because it was very large and sturdy and it had been around for a very long time. There were nearly 70 rings on the tree. Which as you know from science means the tree was nearly 70 years old. 

The foxes however, didn’t know science. The forest education system had been ravaged by a school voucher program set up by the governing animals. The school voucher program was put into place despite numerous warnings from many experts across the education spectrum as well as a bevy of cautions thrown out by seasoned policy makers. The end result, as predicted, was a completely and utterly destroyed forest educational system.

So the foxes didn’t know how old the tree was because of the poor school system. 

Anyway, when the foxes found that the tree had fallen they were very sad. This was the tree that they loved to climb up and have a good time on. It’s where they first learned to be friends by watching out for each other as they climbed up and then sitting in the branches together and talking to one another in a fox language for hours on end. The foxes decided they needed to try and properly mourn the tree. 

They weren’t sure how to have a a funeral for a tree. Such a thing had never been done before to the best of their knowledge, their knowledge being admittedly limited due to their sub-standard education (not being mean, they would tell you the same thing). After some deliberation and disagreement, the two best friends decided on a small commemorative ceremony complete with a short eulogy and tossing some symbolic dirt on the tree to mark its return to the earth from whence it came. 

However, the two foxes could not decide who should throw the symbolic dirt… They both loved the tree and they both loved throwing dirt. Each of them hated speeches and didn’t want to do the eulogy, but they both knew it was necessary. They found themselves at an impasse.

Shockingly, this was new territory for the foxes. They had been truly the best of friends and never disagreed or argued about anything in the course of their long friendship. They were ill equipped to handle this disagreement largely due to the fact that they never had access to a school-sponsored conflict resolution course that may have provided them the tools to work through this in a peaceful and mature way.  

Trouble was brewing. Both foxes were adamant about throwing the dirt and not doing the eulogy…

Silence. I guess we’ve arrived at the conflict… 

Then, one fox simply started saying how much he loved the tree. He talked about how the tree was a great tree and that the tree was there for you anytime you needed it.  

The second fox added that even though sometimes the tree could get moody and swing its branches like a real prick, the tree was still overall pretty cool and he was happy to know the tree and sorry to see it go. 

They both added that they hoped the tree was in a better place but after a thick and knowing silence they both said obviously the tree was right here, they knew where it was, and maybe that phrase was a little contrived and cliched. 

Then… The first fox picked up some dirt with its paw, in an anthropomorphic way, and looked at the second fox.  

The second fox also picked up some dirt in its paw but in a more natural fox-like way (the second fox learned long ago that the first fox was prone to dramatic exaggeration and showmanship)…

They both walked over to the tree, stared at each other for a moment, then laid the symbolic dirt over the tree. Finally putting the tree to rest and returning it to the earth.  

The two foxes smiled at each other and walked back into the forest. Presumably they were off to do some more friendly, happy fox activities. 

Huh, and I guess their friendship never diminished the whole time. 

Maybe that means something.



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