The Fox at the Manger

P. L. Travers,

The Fox at the Manger
 
 

For the first time since the war, the Christmas peal is ringing at St Paul's Cathedral. There is joy. There is new hope. It is Christmas Eve, the carol service has ended, and a woman with three small boys leaves the cathedral, the children swooping like pigeons.

'Why weren't there any wild animals at the crib? Haven't they got something to give?' asked one of the children.
And I heard myself say, 'Yes, they have.'
Was it true, what I told them? Did I dream it? Where it came from I do not know but I seemed to remember every word, just as if I had heard it . . .

Outside the cathedral, the children are told the nativity story from a unique perspective: that of a fox. Despite the scorn of the other animals, he enters the stable to offer the child a gift that only he can give.



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