Cosmic Warning

There he is! There's that fox again! My daughter exclaims. We all run to the window, then crowd the door. “Where's my camera?” my sister asks. She is visiting for the first time in months on the iciest day of the year. “My camera is frozen!” she explains.

I run upstairs to get my brand new tablet, uncharged, lying in the folds of my quilt. Running downstairs, too late to capture a picture of the mangled, mangy animal, but I remember what I saw. The burnished and ragged fur as though something parasitic had been chewing on him. Or maybe he had been bitten and banished by an alpha male since a fox is a canine, I assumed it lived among others. It walked as though it was had been hit by a car. Or maybe it was not used to the icy roads this morning. So the steps reminded me of a woman in high heels for the first time, walking on ice. The pathetic creature was soon out of sight, but today was my third sighting of it since December 31 st. We were on the playground, my granddaughter and I and I was chatting with Nancy, a former student, for the first time in 20 years. The fox ran along the fence in the school playground. My granddaughter explained that they could not have recess that week because of the fox. The principal sent notes to the parents. The second time, a few weeks later, the fox was running up our hill from the creek below. 

So today's sighting prompted so much chaos. Trying to find our cellphones to take a picture and my daughter shouting, Mom, call somebody to come get him."

The fox was the third nocturnal animal that I had seen recently. Two or three weeks ago, a raccoon had lumbered across the street around noon
. And my husband’s nurse snapped a photograph of an owl on Friday morning. My nephew explains the reason: “Man is going deeper into his animal self; and animals are becoming more human. The poles are shifting”, he philosophizes. Whereas my son explains that they were probably searching for food.


Dorothy is a retired teacher who makes poems and art.