It was a wonderful summer evening and all the animals in the jungle forgot about their differences and were enjoying the lavish annual summer party. There were sumptuous meals to savor and choicest beverages to drink.

All the animals seem to enjoy this once in a year gala party. The bonhomie was apparent as one could see the wolf dancing with the deer forgetting that they are otherwise sworn enemies.

All this while the stork was enamored by the handsome fox that seemed to enjoy his meal and drink merrily from the pitcher. The fox was indeed very smart with his tanned fur which glowed in the clear moonlight. The stork did her best to attract the attention of the fox and finally managed a seat next to the fox.

They got into a conversation and soon were dancing together. They danced as if they were seasoned dancers and had several dances together before the evening nearly ended.

The fox was very pleased and asked the stork, “Why don’t you join me for dinner next week?” The stork was more than eager and said “Sure, I will come next Saturday.”

The following Saturday the stork spent much of the day cleaning her feathers one by one and streaking them with her beak to make them shine and reached the fox’s house at the appointed time.

The fox greeted the stork, “Oh Ms. Stork, you are looking wonderful today and your feathers are shining like the moonlight.” “Thank you”, the stork said blushing at the complement.

The fox played the music and they again had dance for sometime. After a while the fox excused himself to set the dinner table. A very appetizing smell came from the kitchen and the stork felt hungry. Soon the fox came with two large plates filled with soup and placed one in front of the stork and said “Enjoy the soup.”

The stork tried hard to drink the soup from the plate which was shallow but could manage only a few drops. She started to get exasperated but did not show her displeasure out of courtesy and hoped that the handsome fox will notice the problem and help her.

Meanwhile the fox was greedily slurping his soup noisily and was oblivious to the discomfiture of the stork. He looked up only when he had finished the last drop of the soup from his plate. Looking at the almost untouched plate of the stork he said, “Aha, you really have a very small appetite or perhaps the taste did not suit you, Ms. Stork!”

Saying this he pulled the plate of the stork and gulped down her portion of the soup too.

The stork was very upset at this rude behavior of the fox but did not show her anger. She said, “I would very much like to reciprocate this lovely evening that we spent together. Why don’t you come over to my place next week?” The fox readily agreed to the proposal.

On the appointed date the fox got ready and reached the house of the stork well ahead of the time. He sniffed the air and was delighted to smell the delicious aroma that filled the air around. He knocked on the door and was warmly welcomed by the stork who herself was looking very bright.

After chatting for a while, the stork went to kitchen to get the dinner. She came back with two flagons filled with delicious stew and placed them on the table. “Bon appetite” she said and concentrated on her stew. The fox looked at the flagon and thought ways to drink the stew. He thought of asking for a plate but the stork was engrossed in her meal and paid little attention to the fox. Exasperated, the fox tried to drink from the flagon but got his nose stuck inside, instead.

The stork finished her stew and looked up. “What, you don’t like the stew, Mr. Fox? No problem, I will finish it off.” Saying this stork picked up the flagon and started drinking the stew that was given to the fox.

The fox was very angry and said, “Ms. Stork, this was no way to treat your guest. You are not only selfish but rude too. I will never come to your house again.” The stork said, “That be true but you are the one who showed me the way. Remember, when I came to your place, how you had treated me!”

It was tit-for-tat. The fox realized his folly and walked over to stork “Sorry Ms. Stork, it was my mistake. I promise to mend myself and be a good host in future” saying this fox walked away slowly from there.

One thought on “Tit for Tat

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