Fox and Dog lived together in a den beneath the willow tree.  One day, Fox discovered a lovely patch of blackberries growing just outside.

“Dog,” said Fox, “I think we should gather the blackberries and invite a friend over to eat them.  They’re ripe and plump and sweet and juicy.”

Dog thought this was a wonderful idea.  Together, they gathered some blackberries.  They brought them inside.

“Who should we invite?” asked Fox.

“How about Bear?” Dog suggested.

“But Bear is so big,” Fox replied.  “She can’t fit in our den.”

“Oh,” said Dog.  “You’re right. Well, maybe we can invite her and eat the blackberries outside.”

“No!” said Fox.  “We can’t do that.  What if it rains? It will ruin the party.”

It didn’t really look very much like rain, but Dog couldn’t say for sure that it wouldn’t, so Fox and Dog ate the blackberries all by themselves and didn’t invite Bear.

The next morning, there were even more blackberries, and they were still ripe and plump and sweet and juicy.  

“Today,” said Dog, “we will certainly invite someone over to help us eat these berries.”

“Yes,” said Fox.  “Let’s gather some quickly.”  And so they did, and they brought them inside.

“Who should we invite?” asked Dog.

“How about Rabbit and Squirrel?” Fox suggested.

Dog thought that inviting Rabbit and Squirrel was a very good idea.  But then he looked around the den. He noticed that the floor had not been swept.  He also saw that the table was wobbly.

“I think we need to clean the den first,” he said.

“Oh,” said Fox.  “Do you think so?”

“Yes,” said Dog.  “And also, do you see that wobbly table?  We need to fix that before we have guests.  And I think the front door could use some paint.”

Fox wasn’t sure that these things would matter to Rabbit and Squirrel, but she could see that it mattered very much to Dog.  So they cleaned the den, and they fixed the table, and they painted the front door. By the time they were finished, they were very hungry, and they ate up all the blackberries by themselves.

The next morning, there were not quite so many blackberries, but they were ripe and plump and sweet and juicy, so Dog and Fox went outside to gather them.

“Dog,” said Fox, “do you think we should ask Ant to come over and share our blackberries?”

Dog considered this.  “Well…I’m not sure that Ant likes blackberries.  Do you think we should invite Wolf?”

Fox considered this.  “Well…last time we invited Wolf to something, he told me he was busy.  Maybe he’s still busy. Do you think we should invite Owl?”

Dog considered this.  “Well…Owl usually sleeps during the day.  Maybe he wouldn’t like it if we woke him up.”

Fox looked at Dog.

Dog looked at Fox.

They went inside and ate.  They felt very lonely.

By the next day, all of the blackberries were gone.


Why do you think that Fox and Dog ate all the blackberries by themselves?

What makes you hesitate to invite people into your meeting?

Does this stop you from sharing the sweetness of the Spirit?