Shippou squealed with pain as the strong hard blow connected. Inuyasha was cranky and he wasn't afraid to show it. The brutal strength involved sent the young kitsune reeling, causing fury to gleam through the cub's eyes as he seethed at the hanyou and swore revenge.
“Keh!” was Inuyasha's response as he finished off the ramen Kagome had left behind. Inuyasha had deemed it more important to maintain his strength for protecting the village than to feed it to a young growing demon.
With no Kagome to intercede on Shippou's behalf, there was nothing Shippou could do but grumble. Inuyasha was too strong, much more powerful than himself. Shippou had only his thoughts to console him, since Sango had gone off to contemplate and Miroku had followed, offering consolations and a grope.
Thus Shippou had to be the strong one. The responsible one. The one going hungry.
Grumbling, Shippou went by the river and stared at his reflection. It wasn't fair that idiots like Inuyasha got to be so much stronger than himself. He'd get revenge, use his wits, just like his father taught him. Shippou was determined not to let his father's legacy down by letting that moron, get the best of him.
So it was no surprise really, except for Inuyasha, when Inuyasha found himself dangling upside down, his strength now useless, since he had been taken by surprise (of the Kouga kind) and couldn't reach the rope. Kouga's laughter infuriated the hanyou, causing him to struggle futilely, while strengthening Shippou's heart. The image of Inuyasha blustering, insisting he would be free, comforted him when the hanyou was free once more. Shippou wouldn’t forget.
Kitsunes' strengths are their intellect and sense of humour. Always beware of a fox's smile, lest their strength lead to your moment of weakness.