So he decided to call it Fox Tales by Fox.
Inspired by his future fame and fortune, he wrote furiously and furrily. He did not stop to proofread or to check if he was mixing his metaphors—after all, he was weaving pearls.
When he finally finished, he printed off copies and mailed them to his friends Raven, Hound, and Goat.
Eager to hear the pending praise, he first visited the bird. “What did you think of my memoirs?” he asked.
Raven, a creature proficient in many languages and a maven (as most ravens are) of fine literature, hesitated. “It was interesting,” he said. “But I noticed a few typos.”
“Typos? Are you sure?”
“Well,” sighed Raven. “For example, it says you were born in 2090.”
“I merely meant I was born before my time,” said Fox. “Obviously.”
“And what about that bit with the ‘sore grapes?’” asked Raven. “I assume you weren’t talking about an unfortunate bicycle accident.”
“Look,” puffed Fox. “Let’s set the record straight. I didn’t want those grapes to eat in the first place. I merely wanted those grapes so I could pelt my critics with staining pellets. And if I hit you with a grape, you’d be sore; I can guarantee you of that. ”
And with that, he flung a grape at Raven. “See? I got a hold of some.”
Fox next stopped by Hound’s house. “Are you leashed?” he shouted from the bushes.
“Aren’t we all?” said Hound.
“I’m asking in a more literal sense,” said Fox. “Are you presently tethered? I like you, Hound. But I don’t trust your instincts.”
“I am, indeed, shackled by an oppressive regime,” admitted Hound. “But what are you worried about? In your memoir you waxed on about how you—as a quick red fox—jumped over the “lazy brown dig.’ I assume that was a typo … and that you’re confident you can outrun me.”
“Ah,” said Fox. “I merely meant that as an agile denizen of the woods, I am nimble enough to evade ill-thought slurs—particularly by brown bears.”
“So you weren’t calling me lazy?”
To avoid the question, Fox hurled a few grapes at the hound and dashed off into the scrub.
The fox then snuck to the back of the barn where he ran into Goat. “Ahoy hoy, Goat! Did you get my manuscript?”
“I did,” bleated Goat. “I loved it!”
“You found no typos then?”
“Absolutely not. … I can’t read.”
“But you said you loved it.”
“Yeah I did. It tasted great.”
“You ate my manuscript?”
“So, what you’re saying is that rather than being a voracious reader, you’re simply being voracious.”
“Yeah, I have no idea what that means.”
“No matter, Goat. You’ve been a great help and a true friend.” And with that, he rolled some grapes toward his bearded pal.
A week later, Fox self-published his memoirs—typos and all—with a special endorsement embossed on the cover.
“I ate it up!—Goat.”
Moral: Proofread. Schmroofread.