Our Fox

“What is that?” I asked.

It was just after dusk. The sky still has a thin stripe of yellow at the horizon but darkness now covered the foreground. Something drew my eyes out the window and I began to survey my backyard. I stepped closer to the dining room sliding door and looked out, first to the the far left and scanning to the right. Mostly all I saw was shades of gray and black. As my eyes started to adjust, I could make out the tall oak tree.  Next to it, a raised mound in the middle of the otherwise flat ground appeared. Then the mound moved.

“Wait, I think it’s our fox!”

I kept staring into the backyard darkness. Suddenly, the mound had two ears, four legs, and a bushy tail. Then the mound moved a bit to the left, circled, crouched and laid down. “Look Brian, it’s our fox,” I yelled to my husband in the living room. We both now stared out at our backyard critter. He looked so comfortable. Just chilling in our backyard.

We stood for minutes, just looking. Then we noticed the dark mound rise, strut toward the neighbor’s fence and hop over it, gracefully out of our view.

Screen Shot 2018-03-06 at 11.49.39 PM

In books, the fox is always the perpetrator or the trickster. Today, in my yard, he or she seemed calm and quiet. A backyard friend.

10 thoughts on “Our Fox

  1. Lee Ann Spillane says:

    Love it!! Foxes are amazing creatures. A teacher friend of mine, Sarah Mulhern Gross from “The Reading Zone” blog had a project in recent years where he students set up a wildlife camera on their campus. They got the most amazing footage of foxes : ) So cool to watch. We don’t see many in Florida anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. dianeandlynne says:

    What a vivid description! The “thin stripe of yellow at the horizon” and the moving mound. I could picture it all. Isn’t nature wonderful to observe?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. MARY ANNE STALLINGS says:

    WHAT A BEAUTIFUL FOX! HE IS A BIG GUY. YOUR DESCRIPTION MAKES THE SCENE SO VIVID. I COULD SEE YOUR SKY WITH THE USUAL YELLOW STRIPE AS THE SUN SETS MOST EVENINGS. I WONDER IS THERE A FAMILY?

    Like

  4. Catherine Flynn says:

    Thank you for sharing this moment with us, Sally. We occasionally see foxes in our yard, but not at this time of year. Today the birds are out in force, emptying our feeders as they get ready to hunker down in this nor’easter.

    Like

  5. franmccrackin says:

    Your piece is so much about vision- how you start to distinguish the form of the fox in the early light. My favorite is the next-to-last line with all the movement- rise, strut, hop gracefully. You gave us the beauty of the fox.

    Like

  6. Leah McFarlane says:

    Yes! We, too, have a fox. I can see him dash across Swanson’s field when I’m making coffee in the morning. It’s quite sweet that yours made it so close to your house.

    Like

  7. amyjuengst says:

    OMG! I love foxes. Like you, I have locked eyes on many a foxes in our neighborhood. I have to remember to slice about my cat’s “friendship” with the fox. It is both an adventure and a love story.

    Like

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