Title: When there was Peace among the Animals
Summary: When the animals of the woods find out about the difference between themselves and mankind they want what they have. But sometimes we do not know what we really want...
Category: Fiction / Fable
Genre: Drama / Tragedy
A/N: SirScott told me that male deers are usually called Bucks, so I changed it in the story (I just wrote Deer at first) Thank you very much, SirScott!
Let me say, constructive criticism is always welcome! It helps me to improve, so if you notice mistakes in my stories, don't bother to point them out to me. I'm happy when I learn something I didn't know before. =)
Feedback: Yes, please, if could spare a moment of time, it would make my day. Thank you for caring.
Once upon a time in the woods of a far away land the animals lived side by side in harmony.
One day as the owl sat on a high branch she saw the rabbit and the fox nearing her tree. The owl stayed silent and watched as the animals below spotted people on the other side of the large meadow that separated the animals from mankind.
"Fox, look there," the rabbit spoke up and pointed at a human mother washing her baby in a crystal clear river. The fox frowned and observed the scene a few seconds before he answered,
"They seem to be different from us, in some way. Not only in looks but also in the way they are"
"What could it possibly be?" The rabbit asked curious, his eyes never leaving the little village.
High above their heads the owl thought about their conversation. As she finally flew down and landed on a low bush beside the fox and the rabbit she cleared her throat and waited for the two to pay attention before she eventually spoke up,
"This is mankind, my wingless friends. They are indeed different from us in oh, so many ways. However there are many little and big things about them I must know what is the biggest difference and I shall tell you, so listen.
Those people across the meadow live in peace. It is not much different from how we use to live when you look at it frankly, but we are not aware of peace whilst those people know it very well. We, on the other hand have never lived in peace, we live in harmony. It is basically the same thing, but we can never call our current state of living to be a life in peace."
"Why is that, owl?" the fox asked, highly interested in what the wisest creature of the woods had to say.
The owl narrowed her big, round eyes and looked very sophisticated as she answered,
"To recognize peace you must know war."
"What is war, owl?" the rabbit asked.
"War is the opposite of peace and it is what harmony has never known. Can you see the sharp, pointy sticks some of those people wear around?"
"Yes, we see them," the fox and the rabbit cried out.
"They call them weapons and with weapons mankind fights each other. They shed blood and take lives. This is war," the owl said wisely and lowered her beautiful head.
After a moment of silence the owl spread her wings and flew away.
For a very long time the fox and the rabbit stayed in their place and watched mankind on the other side of the meadow. Finally one of the rabbit's long, brown ears twitched and the fox asked as he noticed,
"What is it, rabbit? You only twitch your ears when you are thinking really hard."
"Listen, fox, I think this peace is beautiful. For harmony you must not know a thing, but apparently for peace you must be cultivated and civilized. The people know war and so they have peace. I think peace must be better than harmony, because peace knows so much more. Maybe we should make war so we can get peace," the rabbit mused thoughtfully.
The fox titled his head and thought about the rabbit's words. Soon he got up and paced back and forth, his bushy, red tail swinging eagerly.
"Rabbit, my friend, I think you're right. I want to know peace too, so let's make war," the fox said smiling confidently.
The fox and the rabbit felt very wise about their decision to make war to know peace and so they agreed upon telling the other animals in the woods about peace too.
Soon all animals of the wood fought each other. They had no pointy sticks and so they used their sharp teeth and claws as weapons.
"It's almost like we were made for peace," the wolf told the buck as he slashed his stomach open.
The buck fell to his knees and as his blood coloured the grounds he whispered,
"Oh, peace must be so wonderful. Can we have it know? For I'm dying and I'd really like to know peace before I have to leave forever"
The rabbit has heard what the buck has said as he'd been hiding in a nearby bush. Now the rabbit hopped out of his hiding place and joined the dying buck and the blood soaked wolf.
"I think, we can make peace now," he said in a bossy way and nodded at them.
There the doe came out from behind a big tree and stood beside her mate. She lowered her head and kissed the buck.
"My love, we make peace now. I'm so curious how it will be, are you not curious?" she asked kindly and happily and the buck nodded, getting weaker each second.
The animals waited and waited…
…but nothing happened.
"Do we make peace already? Rabbit, tell us, when will we make peace?" the doe asked nervously as her mate lay panting on the ground, life slowly draining away from him.
"I… I don't know. The owl said, to recognize peace we must know war. Is it this already?" the rabbit stuttered.
And as they spotted the owl flying high above their heads with a little, dead mouse in her claws they cried out her name. Hearing their cries the owl landed beside them. The rabbit hopped to her and asked,
"Owl, we made war… when will we get peace in return?"
The owl titled her impressive head and looked upon the animals. She placed her prey beside her and asked the animals in a stern voice,
"Ground-walking ones, did you make war, shed blood and took lives?"
"Yes," the animals all cried out, even the dying buck.
"And did you stop making war, did you stop fighting?" the owl went on in the same stern tone.
"Yes, yes," the animals answered.
Suddenly the doe shrieked aloud and tears began to flood her wide eyes.
"My love, say something," she sobbed and pushed her head against the dead body of her mate. But he did not react, he was dead and nothing could ever bring him back to life.
The wolf and the rabbit did not know what to say. Only the owl shook her head and whispered,
"Now that you know war you can see, this is peace"
The doe looked up, tears streaming down her face, she shouted,
"This is peace? And for this we sacrificed so much? This is nothing. It is worse than it was before war. When we lived in harmony I had to shed no tears. I was with my husband and he was with me. The wolf was a friend of ours, but how can I ever look him in the eye again, now that I know it was him who took my mate's life?"
The wolf looked shocked as he realized the doe was right and he also started crying.
"Now, rabbit, was it worth it? As it had been your idea, what do you think about the peace you brought the animals?" the owl asked wisely.
Angrily the rabbit stomped his foot on the ground as he shouted at the owl,
"'Twas my idea? 'Twas you, who told us about peace in the first way. We would have lived luckily without ever knowing about peace at all."
At that the owl got mad at the rabbit. She took her prey and just flew away, shouting over her shoulder,
"'Tis not my fault, but entirely yours"
The wolf on the ground began to grind his teeth.
"Rabbit, the owl is right. This is your fault. Look, what you made me do to my friends, the buck and the doe," the wolf growled at the rabbit.
"Don't blame the rabbit when it had been your teeth that sunk into my poor mate's body," the doe shouted angrily at the wolf.
Suddenly the fox jumped out of the bushes and attacked the rabbit. He growled,
"Rabbit, peace is not as good and cultivated as you said. Why did you do this to us? I shall hunt you down for planting the idea of peace in our innocent heads."
The rabbit barked a laugh as he retorted,
"Me? No, fox, it was you who noticed the difference of the people in the first way. You made me think about it. So it was you who started it!"
Being so angry with each other the animals soon began to fight anew.
They felt peace had not been worth the war and knowing they could never get their original harmony back they got mad at each other.
From then on some of the animals lived in fear. Some others got aggressive at the sight of their loss...
But all the animals refused to live in peace ever again for it had costed them too much.
A hundred years later there lived a cat and a hound in the village of the people and one day they sat on a small bench and watched the animals of the woods across their meadow.
"Hound, my friend, what is so different about them?"...