It was a lean year, and a Fox who was devoted to his family ranged far and wide seeking food for his Vixen and their Kits.
He came upon a prosperous farm where rich crops were close to harvest, and the henhouses were filled with many chickens. The Fox thought to himself that in the face of such plentitude, one chicken would not be missed and would feed his family for several days. He seized a chicken and brought it home.
A few weeks later, after hunting in vain, he reluctantly returned to the farmyard although he knew it would be dangerous after his previous visit. He was right. The Farmer set a trap and the Fox was caught in it.
But the Farmer was vindictive. He was not content just to kill the Fox mercifully. Instead, he tied a rope to the Fox's tail, doused it with oil, and set the rope aflame!
Ah, but here is where the tale... the tail?... gets interesting! The fox fled in panic, not seeing where he was going, knowing he would soon die a horrible death. He dashed headlong to the river... the shortest way! Through the Farmer's fields.
Sparks from the fleeing fox's tail ignited the crop. The great wheat harvest burned to the ground. Barns and outbuildings were set ablaze.
The vengeful Farmer wailed at his loss.
The Fox plunged into the river, dousing the flames beginning to engulf the bushy fur on his tail, but he returned to his family, alive.
P.S. Although the Fox had a bare tale, he and his family feasted on quite a lot of roast chicken.