The Fox (1922)
by D.H. Lawrence
Oh man only the third D.H. Lawrence book that I've read? Seems like more. I guess four if you count Lady Chatterley's Lover. The Fox is a novella, not a novel, not a short story. I'm curious about the dividing line between short story and novella, maybe more than 50 pages is a novella, less is a short story?
The story- sorry- Novella, is about two "intellectual" women (maybe lesbians) who decide to take over a small farm. They are plagued by a fox that keeps raiding the hen house. Henry, a young man home from World War I shows up looking for his now deceased Grandfather. He sticks around and sets his cap on the butcher of the pair. The fox, in this tale, is a symbol of masculinity and Henry is himself a kind of fox.
It's hard to discuss the ending without ruining the "fun" but The Fox is an accessible access point for someone trying to dip into D.H. Lawrence. Also a super erotic 60s movie version came out- may have to look that up.