Mystery creature

Pleasant evening drive
after a taxing workday
heading to supper

ahead, in the road,
a little creature trotting
like some kind of cat

I said, What IS that?
I can’t tell, said my husband
so sphinx-like, it was

long, low, and silver
big pointy ears, feline grace
canine whiskered face

—oh! we cried, a fox!—
as it vanished, phantom-like,
in the shrouding woods.

We’d have known it right away, had it been red. We see those occasionally. Gray foxes are actually native to the area, however; the red fox didn’t appear in this part of the country until the 1800s. I cannot recall having seen a gray fox before. It was small and lovely, with a grizzled silver coat so prized by hunters. These are the only foxes that can climb trees.

I wonder where our enigmatic gray fox was going on its jaunt along the woodland road just before dusk…and how many more of its kind are about, in the secret places…

Photo: Gray FoxKeith Wescourt. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0