Saturday, April 26, 2008
I saw a fox in the woods the other day. He looked at me; I looked at him, each as startled as the other. For a few seconds he froze, making assessments. I was mesmerized, he was most likely frightened, as I travel with a rather large dog. Prudence prevailed, and the fox leapt away, through the trees, across the hill, down into the valley and out of sight.
How many times, I wonder, have we crossed paths before. I travel the same forest bi-ways, again and again, and never before caught so much as a red-haired glimpse of him. If my dog could talk, she'd tell you a different story. She would say, the fox is here everyday! The fox smells good! Like cats and dogs and things that run! She would say, the fox is everywhere! Over here! Over there! The smell is everywhere! I can say this, because for weeks, months even, I've wondered why, at the edge of the valley, my dog stops and alerts, sniffing the air, ears pricked high, pointing with one foot raised (sometimes a hind leg, she's a shepherd, not a pointer) but always looking a lot more excited than if it was 'just squirrels'. Now I have my answer, and I'll be extra sure she never gets a chance to chase him. After all, we are travelling through the fox's yard and we want to be good guests.
Fox sighting: April 22 2008, Hollidge Tract
Pencil on paper, colours added electronically.