“I’m too old for this.” Snarl, an old wolf, growled as he fought his way to the door of the Foxx residence. The wind continuously pushed at him, making the already treacherous path near impossible. The rain was coming down hard, and he was soaked to the bone.
Snarl Wolfe was the banker of a large kingdom known as Animalia, which was populated with all different kinds of animals. Predator and prey lived in Animalia together in harmony, and have for hundreds of years.
Snarl had been reminding the queen that the Foxx family was overdue on their rent, by several days, but she had insisted they be given a little more time; she had always been lenient with the Foxx family, as they were distantly - very distantly - related. He argued that they had given the Foxx family more than enough time to pay their debts, and she finally gave in.
The Foxx family lived in an old tree deep in the woods just outside of the kingdom, their den burrowing deep within the roots. Their tree was in a small clearing, along with a few other homes. Snarl looked around at the house numbers, trying to find the Foxx’s house. They all looked somewhat similar, with little doorways just the right size for smaller animals, and a few even with windows.
Finally, Snarl found the right house. It had small shoes sitting on the doorstep, slowly filling up to the brim with rain water. Water steadily fell from the small branches growing on the tree, forming a puddle at the entrance. Snarl reluctantly stepped in the water to reach the door.
The banker banged on the wooden door of the den, wiping the sleet from his eyes. He looked up, silently cursing the lack of leaves growing on the tree. Snarl impatiently tapped his paw on the sodden ground, glowering at the closed door.
Although Snarl did his job very well, he was planning on retiring soon. Usually animals only worked for about ten years, and this was going to be Snarl’s fifthteenth year working at the bank. He had streaks of grey in his dark fur coat and his back was ever so slightly hunched. Snarl had a long, pointed snout, full of gleaming white teeth, and his tail swished back and forth irritably, his toes curling in his boots from the cold. Tonight he wore a slick black suit and a brown tie, both of which were sopping wet.
He had grown tired of waiting. “Open the door!” yelled the snarling wolf. “Or I’ll bust it down myself!”
Mrs. Foxx rushed to the door, wiping her paws on a small towel. “I’m coming, I’m coming, sir!” she shouted. She opened the door, trembling under the wolf’s menacing glare.
Mrs. Foxx looked nothing like the banker. She was, for one thing, a fox, with bright red fur and watery blue eyes. She was about a foot shorter than him; her long, pointed ears went slightly under his chin. It seemed she had been cooking before the banker had arrived, for she was wearing a dainty apron, and had flecks of flour sprinkled throughout her fur. “How may I help you, Mr. Wolfe?”
Snarl took a step towards her, and Mrs. Foxx thus took a step back. “Your rent is due. Actually, it was due last week.” he growled at her. He had to bend down low to look her in the eyes, and Mrs. Foxx flinched. “So, you have two choices: give me my money, or move out.” This was Snarl’s favorite part about his job. He loved evicting animals, especially if they were vermin like the Foxxs.
Mrs. Foxx looked like she was about to cry. “Oh please, sir!” she clasped her paws together, blinking back tears. “I don’t have any money right now, but I get paid tomorrow. Can I pay you then?”
The banker scowled. She did this every month, and this was the last straw. After this, no more grace. “If you must, but it’ll cost you more.”
“Oh, thank you!” Mrs. Foxx said. Even though she didn’t have any money to spare, she would figure it out on her own before he returned.
Mrs. Foxx realized then that Snarl was standing outside in the rain. She had been so preoccupied, she hadn’t noticed how wet he was. The rain was now coming down in sheets, pounding hard against the ground. The wind howled and in the distance you could hear the faint rumble of thunder. The poor wolf was drenched, water streaming down his face. “Would you like to come in?” she offered kindly.
The wolf scowled at her, his teeth snapping. “Why would I come into a filthy house like yours? Who knows what kind of condition that hut is in. It could collapse any moment! I don’t want to spend any more time than I already have to with you.” he scoffed. He had to squint to keep the water out of his eyes, and he was shivering profoundly, wrapping his long arms around himself to keep out the cold.
Mrs. Foxx got things like this a lot, because while most foxes were very rich and sophisticated, the Foxx family were considered poor and foolish. They, as the other animals put it, “had no consideration for their’s or anyone else’s safety, and obviously didn’t think the rules applied to them.”
To prevent any deaths, there is a law about going near humans. It is a well known fact that people hunt animals; people have hunted animals for thousands of years, for survival. But animals need to survive, too. And while this seems like a reasonable law, Mr. Foxx just can’t help himself. He is a naturally curious animal. On multiple accounts he has either gotten himself or another animal almost caught, and though it’s not really his fault for being curious, he still broke the law and put others in danger. Because of this, the whole Foxx family has suffered.
Although Mrs. Foxx didn’t want to upset the banker and cause him to evict her right then and there, she was done with these awful remarks. She rolled her eyes, standing on her toes to be level with the wolf, and spat, “Well, if you’re not going to come in, then leave!” and slammed the door into his sopping wet face.
Snarl was astonished. He never thought an animal like Mrs. Foxx would ever dare speak like that to a high and important animal like him. He stood there for a moment, shocked, until he gathered his wits and turned around. He looked at the doors to the other houses for a moment, wondering how anyone could possibly bear to live by these animals, then turned and started on his way back to his home.