Little Foxes - Poem by gershon hepner
Catch us little foxes who’re destroying
vineyards. Just as foxes
always look behind themselves, enjoying
the past, we keep in boxes
the memories of vineyards that we should
for once we’re in the middle of the wood
we never should look back.
The midrash on Song 2: 15 (“Catch us foxes, little foxes, vineyard spoilers; our vineyards in bloom”) states:
R. Eleazar b. R. Simeon said: The Egyptians were cunning, and therefore they are compaed to shu’alim, foxes. Just as a fox is always looking behind him, so the Egyptians looked behind them…The word shu’alim (foxes) is written in our text the first time full and the second time defective, which thus refers to those who went down into the bed (sh‘alo) of the sea.
Jeremy Rosen said this poem reminded him of A. A. Milne’s poem which I had not remembered when I wrote it:
The Three Foxes
Once upon a time there were three little foxes
Who didn’t wear stockings, and they didn’t wear sockses,
But they all had handkerchiefs to blow their noses,
And they kept their handkerchiefs in cardboard boxes.
And they lived in forest in three little houses,
And they didn’t wear coats, and they didn’t wear trousies.
They ran through the woods on theirlittle bare tootsies,
And they played “Touch Last” with a family of mouses.
They didn’t go shopping in the High Street shopses,
But caught what they wanted in the woods and copses.
They all went fishing, and they caught three wormses,
They went out hunting, and they caught three wopses.
They wen to a Fair, and they all won prizes –
Tree plum-puddingses and three mince-pieses.
They rode on elephants and swang on swingses,
And hirt three coco-nuts at coco-nut shieses.
That’s all I know of three little foxes
Who kept their handkerchiefs in three little boxes.
They lived in the forest in three little houses,
But they didn’t wear coats and they didn’t wear trousies,
And they didn’t wear stockings and they didn’t wear sockses.
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