One summer when the air was hot,
The sort of heat not soon forgot;
Beneath a heavy reddish sky,
A river and a lake ran dry.

The crow, the mole, the hare, the fleas,
The otter, and the bumblebees,
Gathered up and all went running
To the fox, for he was cunning.

“Sagacious fox! There is no water!
Nothing! Nowhere!” gasped the otter,
“The river’s sapped! No drop of blue!
Without a cure, we’ll dry up too!”

The fox just stood and stretched his paws,
Head bowed as though to light applause.
He spoke what he’d been asked to tell:
“I know where you can find a well.”

“A well? With water??! Tell us!! Where??!!
We’re saved!!! Delivered!!” cheered the hare.
“Direct us to it!!” cacked the crow.
Where is it, sir? We’d like to know!!”

At first, they thought he had not heard;
The fellow didn’t grant a word.
But then he stooped his snout to speak:
“It’s on the top of Cryer’s Peak”

The crow dropped flat; the flea cloud shivered.
Otter trembled; Hare’s ears quivered.
“But,” crow complained, “it’s roofed with thorns!
Some say there’s owls, beasts with horns!!”

Complained the fleas, “We’re all outsiders!
The Cryer’s Peak’s a home for spiders.”
“It’s all uphill!!” the otter wheezed,
“That’s eighty miles!” She was not pleased.

Said Mole, “So far??! That isn’t fair!!”
(He only had just gotten there).
The bumbles buzzed out other fears;
Their words were lost in beezy tears.

“It is too far!” “Too tough!” “Too scary!”
“It seems quite inconvenient!” “Very.”
“We’ll have to work so truly hard.”
“We’ll be famished.” “Hunted.” “Scarred.

“It’s too much for us.” “Could.” “Can’t.” “Won’t.”
“Say, what will happen if we don’t?
“Stay, then,” said the fox, and yawned.
Not a creature could respond.

Finally, the mole dug deep
And found the spunk to blandly peep
“To go there seems a lot of fuss,
To stay here, that’s the end of… us.”

There came a squall from circ’ling hawks
“We all make choices,” said the fox.

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