this is a fairy tale i wrote for children in an orphanage in sri lanka after the tsunami hit in 2005 – part 1

The Fox Prince

Once upon a time a girl was left all alone in the world. Her parents had died and she had no home, no food and no clothes to wear, but the old dress, she was presently wearing. She was strolling around in the woods, singing to herself, when she came across a fox, who – to her sur­prise – addressed her thus: “My dear girl, where might you be going?”

The girl was not the least bit scared and told him her sad story. The fox showed himself very compassionate. He invited the girl to accompany him to his house, deep in the woods. “My old mother will take good care of you and I will make sure, you get enough food.”

“But, dear fox, I couldn’t possibly live in a burrow,” the girl answered. “My burrow is spacious and I will gladly give you the best room available.”

They went on for three long days to the middle of the forest. During this long and perilous jour­ney, the fox not only protected the girl, but also provided food and curled up next to her at night to keep her warm and comfortable. As the third day drew to a close, they reached a wide open space, in the middle of which a large single maple tree stood. “This is my home,” the fox proudly announced. The girl saw the tree and the narrow entrance in the ground. She worried about her size and thought to herself: ‘I’ll never be able to fit in comfortably, but I will be content to settle on this wonderful glade with my new friend as a neighbor.’

To her infinite surprise, she could easily fit through the hole in the ground and found herself in a large entrance hall. “Did I promise too much, now?” the fox asked. She was soon put into a spa­cious apartment and provided with beautiful dresses. The surprises did not end with that. After bathing and dressing herself in fine silken clothes, she went to find the fox and be introduced to his mother. She had not gone long, when she found herself in a comfortable sitting room. The walls were adorned with paintings of beautiful people. She assumed that they were of one family and amused herself for some time with looking at each picture. In the end, she came across the picture of a handsome youth with a melancholic look on his face. The girl could not help, but stare at this picture for a long time. She was however disturbed by someone opening the door, swung around and saw herself faced with the same handsome lad.