Fox and Stork often spent their days together, and they even share the same hobby. Fox was born in Blackburn, Lancashire, while Stork hailed from Dresden, Germany, but despite that, they were good mates.
It was, by and large, a friendship between equals, except for one small problem – Fox was always playing nasty pranks on Stork, usually involving loud and synchronised farting and other assorted gross stuff.
There were also a couple of instances where some of the stunts almost caused Stork grievous bodily harm under the Offences against the Person Act 1861 in English criminal law.
One day Fox asked Stork to join him for dinner. This was not because he was particularly kindhearted, but because he wanted to play a trick on her. “This will be one of my best yet,” he thought.
Fox prepared his famous tortilla meatball soup for this occasion, and when Stork arrived, he politely showed her into the house.
Fox then served the steaming hot soup in two bowls but did not lay out any spoons. He knew it would be a predicament for Stork, as she would be too polite to ask for one.
They both sat down at dinner table and Fox began to eat straight away without reciting a prayer. He lapped up the soup with his long tongue and cleaned his bowl in no time. Stork unfortunately could not drink the soup because of her long beak.
Fox thought it was funny and laughed at poor Stork, who went home hungry, confirming that Fox was not only a particularly loud host but a graceless and obnoxious one as well.
Stork was livid with anger and Fox’s treatment filled her with indignation. She was positively fuming and after years of being bullied, she finally had had enough and resolved to teach Fox a lesson.
She began plotting her revenge and went about making her preparations. She invited Fox to dinner and prepared a sumptuous meal of beef fajitas with sour cream and guacamole.
Fox arrived at the arranged time, all famished after a hot yoga session at the local gym. Stork served the beef fajitas in two jugs with long necks, as Fox stared at the table in dismay.
Stork knew perfectly well that Fox would never get his big nose down the neck of the narrow jug, and wouldn’t be able to eat. Of course he would be too polite to pick it up and tip the dish into his mouth.
Fox just sat there, as Stork delicately picked out the meat with her long beak. Once she had finished her own meal, she pulled her guest’s jug towards her and ate his as well. Fox went home hungry and had to order takeaway biryani for dinner.
Since then, Fox always thought twice before playing tricks on Stork.
Until today, we have no idea what the lesson of this old fable is. Readers who you would like to share their thoughts are encouraged to send a postcard to the publisher.