The time when Baby Dog and I take our morning walk grows ever darker. On mornings like this one, only an hour past an early morning thundershower, the overcast sky further glooms the morning. The night creatures stretch their forays later into the day. A screech owl calls as we leave the cabin. Later, we see six deer, two of which were the ubiquitous buck and doe we see virtually every morning. A less seen resident also appeared on our walk this morning, a red fox.
It was still too dark for me to tell much about the fox, other than that it was a fox. Even that I knew only by its size and eventually by its black-tipped tail as it turned and sped away from us. I couldn’t tell how healthy it was or how its coat looked. Was it fat or thin? Mangy or healthy? I couldn’t tell. It seemed of good size, which is about as much as I can say.
Baby Dog saw the fox, too, much to her delight. She is much intrigued by foxes. When she was still quite young we once spied a fox in daylight. It stood stock still. She looked at it. It looked at her. This went on for some seconds before the fox disappeared. For a good two years afterwards, Baby Dog stopped in the exact spot every morning where she had first seen the fox and gazed up to where it had stood. Who knew a dog could have a memory like an elephant? So she knew right away this morning’s sight was a fox, and after it disappeared, I let her trail it for a bit, finding it had scurried underneath the paintball mesh and crossed a paintball field to disappear into the woods. We didn’t go further than that, to her disappointment.
Our way led down a different path. My day was just beginning, and the fox's was already ending.