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Description

Vixy and Augustin’s bond deepened as the days passed, and the older fox provided more than just money and a roof over her head for company. He provided new clothes too, and a room of her own to stay in when she didn’t feel like sleeping in his bed for that night. He shared stories of his students and the joy of teaching new generations of young cubs while watching them grow up, which brought a look of envious wonder since it was a life that she had never known.
Eventually she grew comfortable and familiar enough to him that she found herself opening up about the painful chapters of her life. These were tearful recollections of the bullying by her older siblings, the verbal abuse by her mother and the sexual abuse by her father. Though she felt ashamed to speak to him about the terrible moments that forced her to run away from home, she felt a sense of relief to speak of someone that wouldn’t judge her poorly based on her unfortunate life thus far.
There were others who showed her affection, men who offered temporary reprieves from the harshness of the streets. Yet, it was with Augustin that she felt a special connection—one that transcended the fleeting warmth of those passing encounters. Perhaps it was the shared loneliness that bound their spirits or the glimmer of humanity that still existed in the darkest corners of their hearts. Before either of them realised it, Augustin bad become a protector, a mentor, and an unexpected source of comfort for the young cub, while Vixy became the cherished daughter that he never had.
But Vixy, conditioned by a life of constant movement, feared the permanence of connection. She knew that this arrangement couldn’t last; he was a teacher in an international school, and the relationship they had was deemed by many to be taboo considering his close proximity to children most of the time. If they got caught the repercussions that Augustin would face would be both massive and severe, and she couldn’t let that happen to someone she cared for. And so, she made the painful decision to move on one night, leaving behind the one person who had shown her love and kindness. However, Vixy had left behind her precious plush toy in her haste to leave the older fox’s home before he woke up. It was shaped like a pony but bore a likeness to her fur, hair, and tail colours, it was her only source of comfort on countless lonely nights.
The next morning, Augustin awoke to find Vixy gone, but not without a trace. Spotting the pony plush toy, he understood the significance it held for the young fox and he quickly got dressed and hopped into his car with a burning determination to find her. Driven by a father’s concern, he drove helter-skelter across town and scanned every corner, every alley, hoping to catch a glimpse of Vixy’s familiar silhouette. As he drove, the city gradually gave way to sprawling countryside. A hunch led him beyond the familiar urban landscape, and there, on a lonely road, he spotted her.
Vixy, determined yet tired, walked along the roadside, her small form conspicuous against the vastness of the open fields. Augustin pulled over and brought the car slowing to a stop just a short distance behind her, opened the door and called out to her. “Vixy!”
She turned, surprise and relief mingling in her eyes. In that moment, the countryside seemed to hold its breath, witnessing the reunion of a caring father and his wayward cub.
“What are you doing here?!” She asked, wrapping her arms around herself as she took a step away. “I-its better if we didn’t see each other anymore. This won’t work out; you’re a grown-up and I’m a cub. It’d look really bad for you if you got caught, and double that because you’re a teacher!”
“Listen, this is about a lot more than just those times we spent in bed together.” Augustin said with a smile as he got out of the car. “I know what you’ve been going through, hun, and I don’t want you to have to spend another moment thinking how you’re going to find your next meal, or having to go to bed with another man if it meant finding the next warm bed to sleep in. You’ve had a really hard life and have had to grow up too fast, but that’s no way for a kid to live. Deep inside I know you’re a sweet little girl that’s looking for a loving family that cares about you.”
He knelt before her with his arms outstretched as he invited her to embrace. There was a softness in the way he gazed at her, one that gave her the feeling of being wanted not for what she can do, but simply for who she was. “I may not be able to change your past, Vixy, but I can be a part of your future. Will you let me be your father?”
She was hesitant at first, but Vixy felt a warmth she hadn’t known before. With a teary smile she nodded, and a second later she was running to him as fast as her little legs could carry her, her eyes filled with tears of joy as she threw her arms around Augustin in a tight hug. Their laughter filled the air, a melody of joy echoing through the fields as Augustin lifted her high, the warmth of the reunion transcending the cool breeze of the countryside. In that simple gesture, their connection deepened—a father embracing his cub, finding solace in the simple act of holding her close.
The echoes of their shared pain were replaced by the promise of a brighter future together, under the watchful, caring eyes of a gentle adult who had become a father in every sense of the word. Vixy had found a new beginning in a father who would guide her through the shadows and share in the sunlight of unconditional love.

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