Do Foxes Trick People?

Innocent encounter between human children and fox cubs In folklore, for some reason, there are many tales about people being deceived by foxes and raccoon dogs (tanuki). However, Kenji felt that it was the humans who looked upon foxes and raccoon dogs with this kind of suspicion, and that these animals must feel extremely annoyed by this defamation. "Crossing the Snow" relates these feelings and is the story of an innocent and sincere encounter between human children and fox cubs.

Rhythms ofsteps on the snow and the cheerful mood Shirou and Kanko go out to play in the fields on a very fine sunny day after a snowfall. The crunching "kikku, kikku, kikku" of their tiny snowshoes as they step on the snow and the singsong words "katayuki kanko, shimiyuki shinko (hard snow, frozen snow)" resound throughout the story. These rhythms convey spontaneously the cheerful mood of the two children. Drawn by these rhythmic sounds, Konzaburou, the fox cub, comes out of the forest and shows himself to the children. Thereupon the conversation between them begins.
The song of the fox cub to the children

The appeal by the fox cub
Konzaburou sings, "Shirou wa shinko, Kanko wa kanko; kibi no dango wo ore yaro ka (Shirou goes shinko, Kanko goes kanko; shall I give you millet dumplings?)." In reply, Kanko sings in a tiny voice, "Kitsune kon kon, kitsune no ko; kitsune no dango wa usa no kuso (the fox cub cries "kon-kon" like a fox; foxes make dumplings from the droppings of rabbits)." Hearing this Konzaburou laughs and says, "Oh no, that is absolutely untrue. All we foxes have always been accused so falsely of deceiving humans."
Surprised, Shirou asks, "Then is it a lie that foxes trick people?" "It's certainly a lie. Perhaps the most vicious lie. Those who say they have been tricked are usually those who were confused by drink and cowardice," Konzaburou explains earnestly.
Shirou and Kanko are invited to a slide show by the fox cubs Through this encounter Shirou, Kanko and the fox cub Konzaburou become friends, and the two children receive an invitation to attend a slide show put on by the fox cubs. During a break in the slide show, a little girl cub offers the children a plate of millet dumplings. They are a bit hesitant to accept any, but thinking,"Konzaburou would never trick us," they try some. They discover that the dumplings are very delicious. All the fox cubs around them, who had been watching them closely to see if they would eat the dumplings, are overjoyed and begin to dance.
"Kikku kikku ton ton, kikku kikku ton ton....."

Rhythm in Kenji's Stories
Broadminded Acceptance of Outsiders and Strangers
Wind, rain, snow---
Foxes, rats, horses---
The World of Kenji's Works
The World of Kenji Miyazawa