Dead of Night

She doesn’t feed the foxes, ever. She doesn’t want to encourage them. In the dense woods to the side of her house she hears their harsh call at dead of night, along with the protracted Woo Woo of an owl. This morning she opens the back door. Strewn across a flowerbed is a red-gold fox, probably a vixen. Legs tucked beneath her body, her pointy, soft muzzle lies on the foliage, her chin resting neatly by the side of a broken lupin. Two cats are standing guard on one side, teasing the air with inquisitive paws as they gaze on. The fox’s tail is spread like a fan. Not a mark on her, no sign of disease. This evening she comes home from work. Gone; the Council’s duty is done. The flowerbed is crushed, there’s a long dent. After dark she creeps outside solicitously with a saucer of food.
Joan El Faghloumi
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