A Fox for the Hen House

PORTLAND, OR — Once upon a time, it turned out to be that there was a fox who had been running amok within the hen house.

The fox had been present within the hen house for quite some time, under the self-professed guise of standing guard. Indeed, he was one of several such foxes; foxes, who identified themselves as being staunchly on the side of the hens, in solidarity with them.

This particular fox had long proclaimed his love for the hen. But after a time, this fox was outed by the hens for his predatory behavior. First one spoke up; and then another, followed by another, and another, until soon, word had spread throughout the community.

Several of the other foxes quickly — and loudly — announced that they had long held their own personal individual suspicions, regarding this fox. Tragically, they had never spoken up about it, until well after the hens themselves had made it easy to do so. Many of these foxes quickly — and loudly — began to decry the atmosphere of canine pack-iarchy among them, which provided such a perfect cover for a predatory fox to hide in plain sight within their midst.

“How are we to know,” asked one of the foxes (who stood with the hens), “who the other predators are, hiding among us?”

The other foxes (who stood with the hens) appeared troubled by this question. They immediately set out to find an answer as to how they could determine which foxes belonged within those safe spaces of reprieve that are set aside for the hen.

Soon, they came up with an idea: the foxes who stood with the hens would organize themselves into a group, for the sole purpose of deprogramming their own inherently predatory & pack-like nature. This would not be the kind of group where their former predatory comrade would be welcome, nor any of his pack-like ilk. No, to the contrary, this group would consist exclusively of those vetted foxes which the hens could be assured of were not, themselves, predators. After all, the foxes argued, it was the purview of the foxes who stood with the hens to be focused on the needs of the hens — not the other foxes, especially the pack-like & predatory ones.

“I love the hens,” proclaimed one fox, who had soon emerged as one of the dominant figures among the reformed group. This sentiment was universally approved-of, among his peers, and was shared widely, to great acclaim.