“You know? If you keep pulling like that something’s going to snap.”
“That… NNNNNNGH! Is… NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNGH! The whole… HRNNNNNNNNNNNNGH! IdeAAAAAGGNGH!”
The wise owl stopped flapping its wings and dropped to the ground, panting and huffing.
“I didn’t mean the rope, it’s too strong for you. You’re more likely to hurt yourself if you keep fighting like that.”
It took a while before the owl catched enough of its breath to talk. “Then what exactly do you propose I do? Patiently starve to death?”
The old fox sat besides the owl. “You certainly wouldn’t. Whoever laid that trap would surely return to check it before that happened.”
“One more reason to get out of here at once!” Said the owl and started to unfold her wings until the fox placed its paw on her shoulder.
“I agree, but not like that.”
“How then? I’ve tried everything but it just keeps getting tighter.”
“NOT quite everything.” Answered the fox.
“Oh? Why don’t you share your cunning escape plan then?”
“I’ve got a better idea. Let me draw it out for you. Here, let’s go over there where there’s more light.”
With just a slight limp, the fox trotted gently towards the metal spike that kept the rope firmly planted to the ground.
He sat beside it and turned towards the owl. “Well? Are you coming or not?”
“I wasn’t exactly built for walking, you know?”
“So? It’s not like you’re that far away. Just stumble over. I promise not to laugh… too much.”
The owl sighed loudly. “This should better be really good.” She said, before ungraciously heading towards the fox.
It took her a couple of minutes to finally reach the spot where the fox kept softly giggling while doing an exaggerated display of keeping a straight face.
“Very funny. Ok, I’m here. What’s your plan?”
“It’s very simple, really. Fly.”
“You heard me. Fly.”
“But didn’t you just say…?”
“Trust me on this one, ok?”
The owl stared at the fox, trying to decide if he was joking or had suddenly gone mad.
“Ok.” She finally said. “Here it goes.”
She flapped her wings as gently as she could… and suddenly found herself up in the air.
“How the hell did you do that?”
“I’ll tell you as soon as we’re as far away from here as we can.”
The view of the sunset from the cliff was both beautiful and soothing.
“So, are you going to tell me how you did it or not?”
“I didn’t do anything.”
“Oh, come on! That rope didn’t just let go all by itself.”
“As a matter of fact, it did.”
“That’s how that trap works. It counts on you trying desperately to get as far away from it as possible. The more you fight the tighter it gets.”
The owl’s mouth opened and closed a few times as it failed to keep up with the avalanche of ideas forming in the sudden realization.
“The fox gently hushed her with its paw.”
“You see, my dear. All you had to do was stop fighting. As soon as you walked TOWARDS the trap the rope lost all your strength. It became loose and your claw slipped right out of it without you even trying.”
The first stars began to appear in the sky.