There once was a girl named Jane. Jane was a very simple girl. She liked simple things, like catching fireflies with her father.
Jane’s father was all she had. They lived together on a small farm with only a few animals. Other than the farm and Jane, all Jane’s father had was a browncoat and a hat.
Occasionally, after they were done catching fireflies, Jane’s father would stand in the middle of the farm yard, wave his hands to point to it all and say to her, “Someday, Jane, this will all be yours. The chickens. The sheep. My brown coat. Even this hat.”
Jane would giggle. She didn’t think about what that really meant. That her father was telling her that someday he would be dead, and all she would have is this tiny farm.
One night, Jane and her father heard the farm animals getting restless. Jane watched as her father grabbed a big stick and went out to see what was going on.
Jane waited. She could hear the animals getting more restless. Then, she heard her father scream.
Not knowing what else to do, not even thinking, Jane ran out the door. She was mere feet from the door when what she saw made her stop on her tracks.
Her father laid on the ground, bloody, unmoving, dead. The thing that had killed him was still there, still hitting them with the big stick, the big stick it had taken from her father’s own hands.
It was a fox. Somehow, a fox was holding the big stick in its paws and bashing her dead father with it.
“STOP PLEASE STOP FOX YOU’VE ALREADY KILLED HIM!”
As Jane yelled that she fell to the ground, sobbing. She sobbed there as the fox ate the chickens and bit the sheep, leaving some to bleed to death and the others infected with rabies. When the fox was full, he walked back over to Jane’s dead father, pulled off the brown coat, and placed it on his own back. He then pulled out a cigarette and a match – from where, Jane did not know. The fox walked past Jane, and over to the house. He struck the match on the side of the house, lit his cigarette, and then threw the still flaming match into the open door.
As the house began to burn, the fox walked past Jane again, back over to Jane’s father.
He then defecated on the corpse’s chest.
Then the fox left, leaving Jane there on the ground sobbing.
Jane sat there for a long time. For how long, she did not know. But when Jane finally looked around herself, she had nothing left. The house was just a smoldering ash pile. The animals were all dead or crazy with rabies. Her father’s corpse was naked and shat on.
Naked, that is, except for his hat.
Jane crawled over to her father. She gently removed the hat, and placed it on her own head. This was her hat now. It was all she had now.
From that day on, Jane wore that hat. She wore it as she dug a grave for her father. She wore it as she chopped down trees and rebuilt her house. She wore it as she discovered the cure for rabies and healed her remaining sheep. She wore it as she found a few eggs left in the chicken coop, and incubated them herself, sitting on them gently for days, until they hatched into new chickens. She wore it as she sheared her sheep, spun their wool into quality yarn, and knit hats just like hers. She wore it as the ISP came out and hooked up an internet connection for her. She wore it as she began to sell the hats on Etsy.
She wore her hat as she stood in the middle of the farm yard and looked around at everything. At everything that would never be the same. At a world that would be a little less happy, but where she would never give up. Where she would go on, despite the fact that the days of catching fireflies with her father were gone.
At a world where that douchebag fox didn’t win.
One day, many years later, Jane’s granddaughter ran into the house.
“Grandma! Grandma! The mailman bought you a letter!”
“A letter?” Jane sat down her knitting, took the letter from her granddaughter’s hand and put on her glasses. Jane was still wearing that hat. It was worn now, darned in several places, stained in others. But she was still wearing it. She carefully opened the letter, wondering what it could be.
The letter was from the fox.
The fox had apparently decided to mass produce that hat that he had briefly glanced at so long ago. Because of this, Jane could no longer sell her hats. The fox had taken Jane’s blood, sweat, tears, and love, and turned it into little different than a plastic toy made-in-China sold at the dollar store.
“F*uck that noise!” Jane proclaimed, standing up, throwing the letter into the fireplace. “I’m still gonna sell my hats. I’m still gonna make mine with my own two hands. I’m still gonna pour love into each and every one!”
Suddenly, Jane saw fireflies all around herself. Just like when she use to catch them with her father. Just like when they use to stand in the yard and look at all they had, together. Look at how it wasn’t much, but at least they had love.
And at that, Jane fell over, dead. What she thought was fireflies was apparently her having a stroke.
Now I didn’t sheer those sheep. I didn’t sit on those eggs. I didn’t watch as a fox killed and deficated on someone I love. But I do live in a world where I don’t want a fox that does these kinds of things, to win. So, in Jane’s stead, I will handknit similar hats and sell them to you.
The hats are made to order, so it will be made especially for you. I’ll knit mine out of wool, just like Jane did, but if you’re allergic, let me know and I’ll use acrylic. I’ll put love into every one. Blood, sweat and tears cost extra.
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