"The Fox and the Hawk" Is Unusual Love Prose with Teaching Moments, Newest From Madison Avenue Publishers
"The Fox and the Hawk," is a refreshingly original short story with teaching moments for readers 7-years-old and up. Written by Barbara Kennedy (MPH/MSW), the story develops as does the tenuous relationship between a (girl) Fox and a (boy) Hawk, who start off with seemingly nothing in common except that they're hanging from the same tree at the same time of year near a ranch in the American Southwest.
We first meet Fox sunbathing on a grassy knoll one morning, daydreaming, and without a care in the world. A dark shadow blocking the sun alerts her to a buzzard, and she races off to her foxhole to hide. But just as she ventures out again, sure the coast is clear, she is grabbed by the nape of the neck, snatched off her feet, and flies through the air. dropped down on a tree branch by Hawk–the overseer of the area–who has, it turns out, and a good thing, just rescued her from a pack of approaching coyote. He is put off by Fox's lack of gratitude as he risks his own life to intercept the coyotes' plans. But Fox focuses on her pinched neck, may have issued the word 'barbarian.'
Thus, Fox appears to be a self-involved redhead and Hawk, an arrogant, self-important tree-dweller. But there's more to both than meets the eye, and as they bump into each other in the forest and spar, they learn about the other, coming to terms with their differences that are suddenly strengths. They work towards trust and closeness, and maybe, someday, a kiss. Or not. Who knows? You decide.
Kennedy says the story can be read on two different levels: by children, who will see some of the differences, like the worms. Fox just assumed that Hawk would eat worms–don't all birds eat them for breakfast? But mostly they want everyone to be safe and happy. So they are somewhat relieved when Fox returns with a plate of bugs and berries; it shows kindness, understanding and resilience. Young adults and adults will see the deeper meaning and universal struggle for connection. Preconceived notions, irrational fears, language barriers, adaptability, trust issues. A non political cultural diversity piece for all ages.