The quick brown fox is no longer quick, no longer brown. She’s now slow, now gray, and when she arrives at where the lazy dog lies, she considers her choices. As a young kit, she used to jump over him, but those days are behind her. She could walk around him. She could also try asking him to move aside to let her pass, something that she’s never done before, though it’s probably too late now to try it, as the dog has clearly grown lazier to the same degree that she’s grown less quick and less brown. He used to raise his head and look up at her as she approached, sometimes with a look in his eyes that almost seemed to apologize for his lethargy, especially in contrast to her spiritedness, but now he lies motionless, with nary a twitch of his thin tail. Staring down at his side, she realizes that she’s waiting to see a breath move his chest. When the wind gusts, it stirs her fur and his, but she sees no inhalation or exhalation, not even after staring for two minutes without blinking. He doesn’t blink, either.
The slow gray fox considers her choices, which are now different. She could go tell someone about the dead lazy dog, someone who would know what to do, but does she know someone like that? She doesn’t think so, no. Neither the mischievous crow or the cruel spider would have any clue. The wind gusts harder now. She sniffs the air. A thunderstorm is coming. She needs to make a decision soon because she doesn’t want wet fur. For old times’ sake, she decides to jump over the lazy dog one last time. As a way of saying goodbye to an old friend, she thinks, even though she never even knew his name. In the distance, thunder grumbles. She takes several steps backward to make sure she’ll be able to pick up enough speed. A raindrop splatters on her snout, but she ignores it as she takes off running. When she’s almost to him, she jumps, but even before her last paw leaves the ground, she knows she won’t make it. She won’t clear the body of the dead lazy dog. She’s grown too slow, too gray, too old since the last time. But there in midair, just below the angry clouds, there’s nothing she can do to change things.