Insects of all kinds are enjoying the sunny afternoon. The Forester enters. He is tired and falls asleep. A frog runs from a young vixen chasing it and wakes the Forester, who catches the Vixen and takes her home to keep as a pet. In the Forester’s garden, the Vixen and the Dog talk about love. The Forester’s sons tease the Vixen, and the Vixen bites them. The Forester ties up the Vixen, and the Dog advises the Vixen to get used to being captive. The Vixen scolds the Chickens for submitting to the Rooster and to being used by humans. She incites them to rebellion. When the Rooster approaches, the Vixen kills him and the Chickens. The Forester tries to strike the Vixen, but she breaks loose and flees into the forest.
Having returned to the forest, the Vixen needs a lair. Finding a badger set, she drives out the Badger and makes a home there. Returning to the human world, we find the Rector, the Forester and the Priest meeting at an inn. They talk about women and love. The Priest was once disappointed in love and now says in Latin: “Do not give a woman your body.” Walking home from the inn in the moonlight, the Rector reminisces about a Gipsy girl named Terynka. The Rector is drunk and imagines that a sunflower is Terynka; he tries to embrace it. The Priest enters and recalls how he was betrayed by a girl as a young man. The Forester is searching for the Vixen and believes that he has seen her. The Vixen goes on living her life in the forest. In the summer night, she meets a Fox and falls in love. They decide to marry and have a wedding.
There is a wedding on the way in the human world too. Terynka, the lost love of the Rector, is about to marry Harašta, the bird dealer. Harašta walks in the forest with a gun and notices a dead hare on the ground. The Forester tells him not to pick it up, as he intends to use it as bait for the Vixen. The Vixen soon arrives with her cubs but notices the trap and avoids it. Harašta enters with a sack full of chickens and begins to chase the Vixen. The Vixen avoids him and empties the sack, but Harašta notices her, raises his gun and fires. It is the day of Terynka’s wedding. At the inn, the Forester and the Rector are told by the landlady that Terynka has been given a fox fur stole. The Rector mourns the loss of Terynka, while the Forester mourns the death of his pet vixen. He feels old. Walking home, the Forester recalls how he would walk in the forest as a young man with his wife, picking mushrooms. The Forester falls asleep, and animals again gather around him. He sees a fox cub in his dream: it resembles his lost pet Vixen. This makes the Forester realise that he himself is also a part of nature’s great cycle of life.