Nathaniel Benchley, who penned other vivid stories about animals, wrote "Red Fox And His Canoe" in 1964. An Aboriginal asks his Dad for the largest vessel he can build. Meant for small children, each illustration is smiling and introduces a lovely variety of animals. As the boy launches his craft the dialogue is perky , easy to understand, and involves no fear or peril. However the take-away education would apply to a great many grownups. Perhaps it is versatile because basic morals are at our disposal early.
The protagonist, 'Red Fox' doesn't give a reason but thinks the biggest canoe available, would be ideal. Perhaps he wants to carry more fish and on his test paddle, he does gather a much bigger haul than usual. Perhaps he would like to invite the accompaniment of friends, which his humbler solo craft couldn't muster. What he does collect at the end of one day, is a boatload of uninvited critters. Crowding the owner himself, a cute variety of wildlife notice that off-shore fishing is easier. Constantly adding to the eclectic party, who 'Red Fox' can't chase out, opportunistic individuals seize on an easier way to fish by boating with him to the centre of rivers.
This is a pickle in two ways. We want to help where we can, if we possess a resource others would be grateful to share. I think of folks who own trucks; never short of people needing something hauled. However we ought not take anyone for granted, nor outsource amenities until wear and tear occurs. We must not sacrifice the ability to enjoy our investment; sinking the craft and no one making use of it. It's a fine line between appearing selfish and reasonable self-defence. The tale made good, wry sense without ever feeling despairing or heavy.show more
by C. Riedel