Story: This story is about a uh… a fox who happens to stumble upon a tiger. The tiger caught the fox, and before the tiger could eat him, the fox lies and tells the tiger to wait, because he is sent to the earth as the king of animals. Well, the tiger doesn’t believe him until he saw that the fox isn’t scared, so he asks the fox to prove it. So the fox… Um. Oh, yeh the fox takes him for a walk and tells the tiger to walk behind him since everyone that saw him would be scared. So every animal they saw runs away in fear, obviously because of the tiger, but the tiger doesn’t even know that. According to the tiger all the animals are scared of the fox(raises hands slightly, fingers outstretched)! He realizes the fox must be right, and runs away as well. That’s it.
Context: I took this interview in person and recorded it so I could transcribe it later.
Thoughts: When asked about how this story was significant to them, they tell about how this was told to them by their mother when they were a child as a bedtime story. They didn’t completely understand what time meant back then, other than “foxes are scary”, but now they think of it differently. The informant feels that now, after reflecting on the story, they realize how it is not only a lesson about being clever, it is a lesson about confidence.
Analysis: I also agree that it is a lesson about confidence. It is a lesson on tactful confidence and manipulation, to get out of a dire situation. The lesson in this tale is clear: you don’t have to be the strongest person in the room if you are the smartest. This can apply to a lot of situations in my adult life, and I’m sure for everyone else’s too.