Read Time - 4 minutes
…in a galaxy far, far away, there lived a fair prince named Bruce. Bruce was a fox who lived in a castle with a real moat and everything. As foxes go, Bruce was the clever variety, not the smarmy and sly type so common to this particular genre of literature. That sort of stereotype is not what Bruce The Fox is all about. Like I said, Bruce was a fair prince. Let’s just leave it at that.
As the CEO of all the land, it was Bruce The Fox’s job to present the annual award to the best storyteller in the kingdom. And tonight was the big night, as Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm were slated to receive this year’s award. Right after Dan Marino’s keynote address. It was a big night indeed!
But, alas, Bruce The Fox was flummoxed. In a way that foxes rarely are. Having contemplated his bemusement with the word flummox, he turned to his mirror and said, “Mirror, mirror, on the wall, what shall I present at this night’s ball?” The mirror said nothing. It’s a mirror, after all, and mirrors don’t talk, even if foxes do.
So Bruce The Fox set off to the forest, as protagonists in tales like this are inclined to do. He’d never been to the forest before, even though he was a fox. His family had relocated to the kingdom years ago, long before immigration laws prohibited such travel. But that’s a fairy tale for another day.
During his trek through the forest, Bruce The Fox encountered many oddities. A house that resembled an old shoe. An asthmatic wolf. A girl far too young to be traipsing around in the hood by herself, carrying a picnic basket. A particularly unattractive duck. It was a strange and foreign place. “Maybe I should have gone for the magic beans instead of the mushrooms when I encountered that old man,” thought Bruce The Fox. “But he seemed like a fun guy.”
Anyway, after a bit of a nap and a bag of Cheetos, Bruce The Fox set forth, still in search of inspiration for a proper award for that night’s banquet. He walked and walked, growing more weary and discouraged with each step. His Fitbit was up to 20,000 steps, and that was without having to hook it up to his ceiling fan so he could win the kingdom’s fitness contest.
Just as Bruce was about to give up and put his bushy tail between his legs and skulk back to the castle, he came upon a box. As a member of the biological family Canidae, he was closely related to dogs, but this box made him as curious as a cat. The fox approached the box—there were no rocks or socks or even lox (though a bagel with cream cheese sounded pretty good to him.) Inside were The Seven Awards.
The first one jumped out of the box and said, “I’m Cheapy,” he exclaimed. “I’m an ill-conceived, low-budget stand-in that’s nothing but a waste of money.” And with that, Cheapy ran off into the forest, never to be seen again.
A second award jumped out of the box, “I’m Blandy, and I’m a useless bauble that conveys no meaningful brand or message.” And with that, Blandy ran off into the forest, never to be seen again.
One by one, the awards jumped out and introduced themselves.
“I’m Crappy! I’m made with inferior materials, and I might fall apart at any moment!” And with that, Crappy ran off into the forest, never to be seen again.
“I’m Quickie! I know what you might be thinking, but I was hastily cobbled together from spare parts without any real effort whatsoever!” And with that, Quickie ran off into the forest, never to be seen again.
“I’m Crazy! I’m an odd amalgam of someone’s idea of art as a feeble and kooky alternative to meaningful recognition!” And with that, Crazy ran off into the forest, never to be seen again.
“I’m Lumpy! I’m a chunk of glass as unique as all the other bajillion pieces of glass acting as awards. In fact, I’m as practical as a glass slipper!” And with that, Lumpy ran off into the forest, never to be seen again.
“I’m Schlock! I came from the store down the street. The same store any village with a stoplight has. I’m destined for the same spot in the attic with all the other Everybody Wins awards.” And with that, Schlock ran off into the forest, and—you guessed it— he was never to be seen again.
So having met all Seven Awards—Cheapy, Blandy, Crappy, Quickie, Crazy, Lumpy and Schlock—Bruce The Fox was still left without an answer. There was no genie in a bottle. Or frog to kiss. No gingerbread house or the spinning of gold from straw. Dejected and glum, Bruce made his way home to fetch his copy of the Ace Ventura DVD for Dan Marino to sign. That was the only thing he had to look forward to, having failed in his quest to find just the right award.
Back at the castle, Bruce The Fox cast a glazy stare at his reflection in the magicless mirror. “Thanks a lot, mirror!” he said. “All I see is my reflection.”
At that moment, it dawned on him. Yep—finally—the moral of this entirely true story: Genuine recognition is a reflection of the giver. And with that, Bruce The Fox set up shop and made a very special award specifically for the Brothers Grimm.
Hero Image Photo Credit: BCDB
Dave Miller is VP of Sales & Marketing at Bruce Fox, Inc. and a professional writer by virtue of the fact his company is paying him to write this blog. He was born in Normal, Illinois. So it says “normal” on his birth certificate. The goal of his blog is to “edu-tain” (educate + entertain) promotional products distributors, with a focus on custom work. Dave also finds it very awkward to write about himself in the third person.