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Apprivoisé

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When winter arrives, the fox curls up around his tail and thinks of the warmth that emanated from the prince.

As winter turns into spring, he drinks from a pool of melted snow and wonders whether the prince's rose is blooming now.

Summer comes. He steals a hen from one of the farms, and for the first time he wishes he could share it.

And when autumn arrives, and the wheat turns from yellow to perfect gold, he knows it has been a year since he revealed his secrets to his first and only friend.

He looks up at the sky one night. (The stars had been as useless to him as the wheat, before. Now, he sees in them the sparkle of the prince's eyes, and sighs.) There, he sees something moving -- just in the corner of his eye. Could it be the owl who lives in the old tree on the hill? The fox listens. No, it isn't the owl. He doesn't know what it is.

The shadowy object drifts in lazy circles twice more and lands in the blackberry bush by the fox's den before he reaches it. One of the thorns scratches the tip of his nose as he investigates, but he does not notice because as soon as he sees the paper airplane he knows who threw it.

Carefully, he extricates the airplane from the bush, and gently, he unfolds it. On it is written a simple note.

Dearest Fox,

I am home now, and as my sheep eats the baobab sprouts I think of the tree on your hill. Thank you for making your world special to me.

The fox smiles.