Book 5, Chapter 1
I wonder where this wooden bridge leads? The red fox scurried across it to explore. She approached a wide-open space with a wooden rail fence around it. Inside, there were two mules and a cow eating grass near a big pond. It was hot and the cool pond water sure looked inviting!
Kit studied the large, grass-eating farm animals. They looked friendly and she was tired of always being alone. I hope I don’t scare them away. Crouching low, she tiptoed quietly through the grass surrounding the pond and crept in for a drink.
All of a sudden, one of the mules brayed, reared up on his back legs, and charged in her direction. Yikes! Kit retreated to the other side of the fence so that the pond stood between them.
“Wait!” Kit said. “I only want a cool drink from your beautiful pond.” Why should this large, bossy animal trust me? I know. I’ll show him I’m a friendly fox and sit down. “Hello, my name is Kit. What’s yours?”
“They call me Ellis,” said the chocolate-colored mule, as he lowered his head and pawed the moist ground with his front hoof.
Another mule hurried over to join them. “Who’s this, Ellis?”
“Her name’s Kit, but watch out, Molly! You nearly stepped on the little pond turtle!” said Ellis.
“Oh! I’m sorry, I didn’t see you in the mud, Zartie,” Molly said to a small, olive-green oval shell.
The turtle stuck his head out and said, “That’s okay, I should have stayed on the rock. I just wanted to soak up some sun in the cool mud this morning.” He crawled up onto a large flat rock that stuck out above the water.
“Wow, there sure are a lot of different animals here,” Kit said.
“Nellie, the dairy cow, is laying down in the shade of that oak tree over there,” Ellis said. “And here comes Ollie who guards us from critters like you. Ollie! Come look and see who we’ve just met.”
The golden-colored dog dashed over to them. “You’re a sneaky red fox, aren’t you?” Ollie was wary of foxes.
“I’ve heard that before,” Kit said. “But I don’t want to hurt anyone. I’m thirsty and I’d like to make friends with you and the other animals. Honest!”
Ollie sat down next to Ellis & Molly. “Well, we have a rule here that you must understand, so listen closely.
Kit sat and listened, giving her full attention to the dog.
“We give everyone a chance,” Ollie said. “But remember this: if you ever lie to us, hurt us, talk badly about us behind our backs, or betray any secrets, you will lose our trust ~ and our friendship. You’ll have to prove you are trustworthy to earn our friendship and loyalty.”
“Understood. I promise to be a good friend,” Kit said. I’ll really have to be careful of what I do and say around these animals, she thought. Kit stepped forward for a long, cool drink from the pond. It was comforting to know exactly what she needed to do to gain their friendship.
Later, Kit frequently visited the farm and made friends with all of the animals that lived there. She kept her promise and was a good friend to all, except for one day.