Greetings to you, my woodland friend.
I must be honest. I wasn’t quite sure what to think when I first discovered we were cohabitating, here in suburbia. You see, I’ve never really known a foxy fella, like yourself.
But damn, you really are a gorgeous and mysterious creature! Your flaming orange fur reminds me that not all things orange are ill-intentioned. And your R.F.F. (Resting Fox Face) keeps things interesting for me, as I ponder what’s going on inside your sly mind.
Back in June, I was taken aback when our next door neighbour shimmied herself, wide-eyed and determined, between the pines and into our backyard. She tiptoed in, like a secret agent (elderly division), speaking in hushed tones. It seemed you’d been sleeping for hours in her backyard, all curled up on a big rock in the afternoon sun.
Worried for our daughters’ safety, and not wanting to wake you from your slumber, she appeared with her urgent warning of your presence. Believing you to be sick, rabid perhaps, she’d called the local wildlife authorities who were en route.
We rushed the girls inside and awaited their arrival.
Gathered at the kitchen window we witnessed a disheveled duo come on the scene, sporting measly looking supplies. And then we watched you hit the road running. You, a perfectly healthy fox, were not going to be scooped up by some fools with nets.
You hoofed it like a track star that day; the bad guys didn’t have a chance.
And you made your intentions clear: “I’m here, in your neighbourhood, on my terms and there is nothing you silly humans can do about it.”
Since then, you’ve made yourself even more at-home: chillaxing in the gardens of our suburban ‘hood, frolicking playfully— so carefree— with your siblings; trekking off solo, into the bushes (squirrel-in-mouth), with a sassy twinkle in your eye.
You’ve got swagger, fox. I’ll give you that.
And you’re not even the slightest bit fazed by us humans, are you? Not even my topless husband staring you down while he mows the lawn can put you off your game. And yes, he does work out. (Not that you give a shit. I don’t really either to be honest.)
You don’t seem to give a shit about much and I kinda like this about you. Your nonchalant ways have led me to develop a real soft spot for you. You are just so easy to be around. You’ve become a part of our lives.
We swim; you nap.
We host a barbeque with friends who laugh like cackling witches (okay maybe one of those cacklers is me); you nap.
We get the interlocking in our yard entirely re-done, big burly men use loud machinery for weeks on end; you nap.
You are one lazy mofo but I can see that you’re healthy; a perfect fox specimen, indeed.
You’re healthy and you’re clever. Our kids’ efforts to trick you with fake bird sounds don’t fool you for a second, do they? The girls squeak out a few: “tweet, tweets.” You look over, with your intense eyes (lids barely open) and you half-heartedly meet their gaze. Then you yawn, stretch, and sink back into your previous state of zen. How do you do that? Always so peaceful, so content, so self-assured.
I’m just going to say it, I like having you around! Which is a good thing really, as I suspect you’ve little intention of moving on anytime soon. Am I right? The lush trees and the ampleness of the squirrel population makes our area a fox’s paradise. I don’t blame you for hanging out around here. I would too, if I was a fox.
But, who knows, maybe one day we’ll wake up and you’ll be gone. So before you go, I want to say a few things to you.
Thank you for never once side-eyeing my hamburger and for not giving even a sniff in the direction of our garbage cans.
Thank you for not eating our neighbour’s cat and for steering clear of the toddlers down the street.
Thank you for constantly sending out a: “You do you, and I’ll do me” vibe. It’s taken a while, but I am starting to trust in it.
Oh SHIT! Jesus, FOX! What have you done?!
I don’t know what to say but… enjoy that bird you just leapt into the air and caught so expertly from, what appeared to be, a deep sleep.
You sure do the fox-life well. But, my heart is racing and I think I’ve lost my appetite. I’m sure I’ll get over it. Until then, keep doing you.
The Laptop Wielding Human on the Lounger
*This entire piece was written while sitting poolside. The kids swam and a fox slept until he caught dinner, that is.