THE HARVEST, the FOX and the GOAT-FACED GIRL
adapted by Mimi Foxmorton from the Grey Faerie Book
copyright 2012 All Rights Reserved ~MF
I tell you that I want to share the story I will tell today with my far away friends who can't be with me
at my event. And I do. But it's also 2am and and pre-event jitters make this a most excellent way to set the story in my mind. First time stories are never quite happy until they are told.
Enjoy! Wish you were all with me this day!
Once on a time, there lived a Peasant with 12 daughters.
Each daughter was like the steps on a staircase for they were so identical.
Now, it is very difficult to raise 12 daughters and so, the Peasant toiled from dawn to duck in his fields, always praying for a bountiful harvest.
One day, while working at the far end of his land the Peasant spied a deep, dark cave where before
no cave had been.
Suddenly, from the mouth of the cave, there appeared as if by magic, a Red Fox.
She looked quite fierce and the Peasant was afraid.
But the Fox sat down next to him and was quite friendly.
"Do not be afraid, good sir. I will not harm you.
On the contrary, I wish to help."
The Peasant was relieved.
He dropped to his knees before the Fox.
"Oh, dear Fox, please help me!
I have 12 young daughters and the harvest must be brought in.
We are so poor and I am so very tired I know not what to do."
The Fox replied:
"Well, that is the very reason I have come to you.
Tomorrow, at day break, bring me your youngest daughter and I shall raise her
as my own and she will be the apple of my eye!"
The Peasant's head spun like a mill wheel.
But these were the times when people were more open to magic and wonder and
did not question and enchanted fox who would speak.
And so the Peasant agreed with the hope that his youngest daughter at least would have a better life.
"Very well." replied the Peasant.
"I shall do as you ask and hope against hope that my one daughter will be spared the misery of a poor life.
The Peasant trusted his heart and so brought his youngest daughter to the den of the Fox the
very next morning.
Her name was Renzolla.
The Fox greeted them at the opening of the cave and took Renzolla by the hand.
In turn, she handed the Peasant a very large bag of gold coins
(*This was also a time that foxes distributing bags of gold in exchange for children wasn't questioned as much as it would be today.)
The Peasant was grateful for he knew this would be the end of his suffering for his family.
He thanked the Fox with all his heart.
He returned home, divided a dowry to well marry his daughters with enough left over to live comfortably the rest of his life.
As soon as the Peasant was out of sight, the Fox waved a paw and the dark den turned into a beautiful palace. Renzolla was treated like a princess and did want for naught. She had beautiful clothes, sumptious meals and plenty of jewels and servants to wait upon her. No longer did she have to toil in the fields.
Life was good.
Now, it happened that one day a handsome Prince from a nearby kingdom was hunting in the forest.
As night approached, he saw the light of Renzolla's palace and rode to the door requesting a warm meal and lodging for the night.
The Fox agreed to his request and offered him all the comforts of her home.
The Prince was delighted!
That evening 100 servants served him a bountiful meal and 100 more servants fanned him with the stalks of the harvested corn for his comfort.
Renzolla herself poured the wine from the grape harvest and so delicious was the the wine and so
beautiful was Renzolla that the Prince fell immediately and madly in love!
(*This also happens a lot in fairytales........)
The Fox was pleased.
That evening when the Prince requested Renzolla's hand in marriage the Fox quickly agreed for she had only Renzolla's happiness in mind. She gifted the couple with her Blessings and a huge bag of gold coins.
It was truly a bountiful harvest!
The next morning, as the Prince and Renzolla were taking their leave, Renzolla brushed past the Fox, clutching the bag of gold, with never a word of thanks for all that had been. She showed not a thread of gratitude.
The Fox, angered and hurt at such a show of indifference, sought to teach Renzolla a lesson.
And so, as the carriage drove away, Fox waved her paw and immediately Renzolla had the face of a goat!
In the blink of an eye Renzolla's nose stretched, a beard grew an yard long under her chin and her braids turned up into horns. But Renzolla was unaware.
When the Prince turned to speak to Renzolla he had the shock of his life.
"Renzolla?" whispered the Prince.
"Maaaaaa love!" replied Renzolla
The Prince burst into angry tears.
(*He was a bit of a cry baby.)
"Where is the face that I fell in love with?
Where is the hair that bound me so tightly?
Where are the eyes that pierced my heart?"
"Riiiiiiiight here." replied Renzolla.
The Prince screamed.
"I am a Prince!" he cried.
"I will not be made a laughing stock by being married to a goat faced girl!
"Maaaaa!" Renzolla cried.
For she was quite confused.
Needless to say it was an awkward ride home.
When they reached the palace of the Prince, he immediately shut Renzolla in the highest turret room with a waiting maid who worked in the castle.
He brought them 10 bundles of flax each with the command that it be spun by the end of 7 days.
The waiting maid, used to work, set about quietly combing out the flax and winding it around the spindle.
"We must be grateful for what we have." said the waiting maid to Renzolla.
"Baaaaah!" replied Renzolla.
"You can be grateful if you like.
It is the Prince who should be grateful!
Did he not find me in a beautiful palace with all my needs met?
And did he not receive a bag of gold besides?
I will not slave and toil and be treated in this manner!"
"Still," replied the waiting maid "one must be grateful."
But as the end of the week approached, Renzolla got quite nervous when she saw the carefully spun wool as the waiting maid had finished her task.
That night, she snuck from the palace and went through the woods to the home of the Fox.
The Fox greeted her warmly and listened as Renzolla poured out her woes.
With love in her heart for Renzolla, the Fox hugged her tightly and sent her on her way with a huge bag of finely spun wool so that the Prince may think her a good worker.
Renzolla grabbed the bag of fine wool and without so much as a simple thank you ran back through the woods to the palace of the Prince leaving the Fox hurt by her lack of gratitude.
Once again, the Prince arrived at the turret door, this time with a mountain of corn to be shucked from the harvest.
And once again, Renzolla ran through the woods to the palace of the Fox, leaving with a sack full of perfectly shucked corn with which to please the Prince and with nary a nod of thanks.
And it happened the following week with peas.
The exact same way.
This made the Fox sad.
And so it came upon the very next week when the Prince delievered to the turret door 100 gallons of milk to be churned into butter.
"I know what to do." said Renzolla to herself.
And she ran through the woods to the palace of the Fox.
This time, unlike all the others, an Old Man answered the door.
"Who are you and what do you want?" asked the Old Man.
"How dare you ask such a foolish question?
Do you not know who I am?
I am the princess of this palace and I shall see you greatly punished you.....
you....you old goat beard!"
The Old Man laughed at her.
"Well, well. Now this is a turn." spoke the Old Man
"For it is not I who is an old goat beard.......but YOU!"
And with that the Old Man flashed a mirror to Renzolla's face.
"Maaaaaaaaa!" screamed Renzolla.
The Old Man spoke:
"From humble and poor beginnings you came and Fox took you in and Blessed you with a prosperous life.
Never once did you express your gratitude.
You were ungrateful at every turn.
The Fox was determined that you see the error of your ways.
So, if you wish to lose your goat face perhaps you might apologize and change your ways.
The Fox has a tender heart and loves you greatly."
Renzolla, humbled, took the Old Man's advise and threw herself at the mercy of the Fox.
The Fox forgave Renzolla, as those who love a person will.
And Renzolla was truly grateful.
Renzolla didn't go back to the palace.
Nor marry the Prince, either.
For she thought him quite shallow not to love a goat.
The waiting maid now had double the work but she didn't mind and was grateful for the comfort of a warm home and a job to do.
No one really bothered to find out what happened to the Prince.
It was no great loss.
And the Fox?
The Fox, who knew the merit of being grateful
for the smallest seed to the greatest of harvests.......
Now, go forth, my friends and by day's end
I wish you to find gratitude for your Harvest!
Tranquility, balance, a reconnect with nature-
the honoring of Ancestors long passed-
the remembrance of our history and our culture-
and the silence of observation and respectreminding us of the rhythm of life...........
Won't you join us for something truly unique............