Archive for the ‘Fiction’ Category

That Time the Sun Felt Lonely

Thursday, January 5th, 2017

The fox was stretched out on her side in a green, grassy field chatting with the warm sun. “You sound sad,” said the fox to the sun. “It’s very unlike you.”

“It’s nothing,” replied the sun. “Summer doldrums.” And they continued talking about the improbability of snakes.

The sun said, “No neck or all neck, right?”

“Right!” chuckled the fox. But still, she knew something was wrong. “Are you sure everything’s OK?”

“Well,” said the sun, and then, in a whisper, he said, “I heard that the moon is always surrounded by friends in the sky.”


“The stars, you mean? Yes, that’s true,” agreed the fox. “They are very sparkly.”

“Are there a lot of them?” asked the sun.

“Oh, my, yes. They cover the night sky. No one has ever counted them all,” said Fox.

“Really? What do they do all night?” asked the sun.

“They talk,” said the fox. “They tell stories, mostly. I only see them when I can’t sleep.”

“Oh,” said the sun. That’s all he said. Then he soundlessly rolled over the horizon to sleep. A little early, too, noted the fox. Maybe it was her imagination.


The next morning, the fox sat in a meadow full of tall and soft grass staring east, waiting for the sun to come up. She grew worried when the sun didn’t slide up exactly when he usually did. A short while later, about the time it took a bee to find its first flower, the sun indeed rose.

“I was thinking all night long,” said the fox. “Do you want to guess what I was thinking about?”

“I’m not really in a guessing mood, I’m afraid,” the sun said.

“That’s OK, I’ll just tell you!” The fox, as everyone knows, is clever. She enjoyed puzzling over problems and mysteries, and she was never more excited than when she unknotted something.

“You, my friend, are lonely!” the fox said beaming.

“What is lonely?” asked the sun.

“You don’t know? It’s when you are the only one. When everyone else like you is somewhere you’re not,” explained the fox, sounding maybe a little too pleased with herself. Others — especially the timid rabbits — had gently suggested to her that this sometimes happened.

“Hmmm. There is no one in the sky with me,” said the sun. “I’m the only one.”

“Oh, but you have lots of friends! You have me and the other animals. Admittedly, not all are as chatty as I am,” the fox said.

“But you have fox friends. Fish have fish friends. Gorillas have gorilla friends. Have you ever seen another sun, Fox?”

“Well, of course not,” she replied. “Can you imagine how hot and bright things would be with two of you in the sky?” She giggled at the thought until she saw the sun turn a sad orange.

“I’m sorry! I’m sorry!” the fox said, explaining that she wasn’t laughing at him.

“Apology accepted. Thanks, though I do wish I had never heard of stars.” He began pulling a soft, gray blanket of clouds across the sky.

“Where are you going?” shouted the fox.

“Hmm? Nowhere. I’ll be back.” And with that, he tugged clouds over the last patch of blue.

The sun rose even later the next day. He and the fox did have a great game of I Spy, which both enjoyed.

But the fox could swear the sun stayed a little closer to the horizon all day. She knew for sure that he never made it to the top of the sky before starting back down.

Right before he disappeared for the night, the fox came up with a great plan! It was her best plan ever! She excused herself and ran to the forest asking each tree for a favor.

“You all are so tall. Could you make some flowers way up high for Sun?” she asked. Flowers always made her feel better.

The trees listened carefully before putting their crowns together. The rustling was loud, and when it died down, the oldest tree, a sturdy oak, bowed down to the fox.

“We can do better than flowers!” the tree said.

“We can turn our leaves into flower colors!” the oak suggested. “Do you think that would that help?”

Fox jumped into the air. “YES! That is perfect!”

“Then, that’s what we will do,” said the tree. “Tomorrow morning, when the sun rises, he will be greeted by brilliant colors everywhere that there are trees.”

Fox was so excited. The next morning, she shot from her den. So eager for her friend appear that the fox did cartwheels until she was dizzy.

“Good morning!” the fox shouted while the sun was still climbing over the horizon.

“Oh! You startled me, old friend,” said the sun, a little grumpily. But he paused in the sky and crinkled his eyebrows in bewilderment. The sun scanned the land before him clearly surprised by something.

The fox turned around and saw for the first time a whole new world of colors. The velvety green leaves on the far side of the meadow were ablaze with shades of fiery red, warm orange, blinding yellow and deep purple.

For a second, she completely forgot about her friend the sun and his sadness. The sight pulled the air from her lungs and raised tears in her eyes.

Finally, she noticed her shadow slowly moving. The sun! Spinning around, the fox saw her friend looking happier than he had in days.

“It’s very, very beautiful, and it was so sweet of you all to do this for me,” said the sun. “Thank you! I feel better.”

Still, the fox noted that the sun floated dimmer and a little closer to the horizon all day.

“This is serious,” she sighed at the end of the day. Walking back to her den, the fox saw her shadow stretching in the low light, almost touching the beautiful forest across the field.

Right there and then came the most amazing idea! She didn’t have a moment to spare.

The fox would need a bigger shadow.


The fox ran north as fast as she could. Along the way she passed clusters of animals talking to each other worriedly and looking over their shoulders at the pale sun. Some shivered, something no one had experienced before. In fact, no one had ever felt cold before.

She’d shout at them, almost out of breath: “I (pant) have a (huff) plan! Keep talking to the (pant) sun!”

On the second day of the fox’s journey north, the sun was in the sky only long enough to melt some frost — another thing that was new to everyone.

The trees were giving up. They had begun dropping their beautiful red, orange, yellow and purple leaves, which fell to the ground and turned brown.

“Don’t lose hope, trees!” She continued running with all her might into the footsteps of her ever-growing shadow before her.

On the third day, when snow fell for the first time ever, the fox herself was beginning to worry. She’d never even heard of such a thing. Frozen sky! Very few animals were around as she ran and ran. Most of the smaller critters were underground in their burros. Bigger animals like buffalo and horses stood, unhappily, pointing their butts into the frigid wind and snow to keep it out of their eyes.

On the fourth day of her mission, the fox found herself running in a vast, open area of deep snow. There were no hills or trees or anything. The fox had to run-hop through the snow, and she was getting so tired and cold. Still, she would not give up on her friend.

Crouching in the bitterly cold air and snow for a minute, she turned to look for the sun. With a fright, she saw that he was mostly behind the horizon in the middle of the day. There really was only a brilliant yellow flare, and even that was sliding down.

The fox stood straight up and looked at her shadow. It went on forever, perfectly black and still. This was the time!

Sitting on her haunches facing her shadow, the fox pushed off out of the snow and high into the icy air. Then, quick as a whip crack, she grabbed the feet of her shadow. She raising it over her head like a long, long cape and snapped it onto the ground. There was a loud, echoing and cracking sound as the fox’s shadow shattered into millions of black bits.

There was an awful silence as the fox fell back to earth — and then! The pieces of her shadow rose into the air.

There were thousands and thousands of sharp little silhouettes swirling into the sky in crazy, beautiful curls and streaks, not one hitting another.

The fox whistled shrilly to them, and they moved toward her. She pointed toward the sun.

“There! Go there! He needs you, so go as fast as you can!” And off they shot, blackening the sky over her head, which was fortunate. She would hate to have anyone see her crying, even with joy. Crying is for crocodiles.


By the time she returned to the glen, her friend the sun was starting to come back. Little by little over a few weeks, his energy and smile came back. The sun named his new friends in the sky birds, which seemed appropriate because that was kind of the sound they made.

The weather warmed up, pushing the snow far, far north. The trees happily sprouted luscious green lives and animals no longer hid underground day and night.

Everyone was happy again and life returned to normal. Well, normal for almost everyone. The fox sometimes had a hard time getting the attention of her friend the sun, who laughed and joked and shared confidences constantly with them.

That’s OK, she thought, it was worth it to have her oldest and best friend in the world content again.

Besides, last night, she’d noticed that the moon wasn’t quite as full as she usually was. She’d have to talk to her tonight.

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