WHY JOYCE ADAPTED ZORA'S COLLECTED WORDS:
WHAT'S THE HURRY, FOX? and Other Animals Stories In WHAT'S THE HURRY, FOX? and Other Animal Stories, I took a few lines that Zora collected from her trips through the South, and imagined them into full stories that I adapted into books for children. In WHAT'S THE HURRY, FOX?, the fun and fear are told through the antics of animals and the follies of humans. Everyday humor spills from the mouths of everyday people who tell us why the donkey's ears are long and why the dog hates the cat.
Why I decided to adapt Zora's collected pieces: In the Stanford University Library stacks, in 1967, a tattered copy of an anthology, titled FIRE! fell from the shelves. I caught it mid-flight. I was surprised to find Zora Neale Hurston's story "Sweat" among the honored and prodigious authors in the collection. I wondered who Zora Neale Hurston was. I wondered why I had never heard of her. I wondered why her literary gifts had been ignored and neglected.