An abundance of wild life roams outside my windows this morning: a black squirrel standing on its back legs, a fat bunny hunched and chewing, a weasel tummy-running through the tall grass and birds everywhere. This gives me the evidence I need to really know that my fox which skirted my back yard all winter long and part of spring--even during the day--is now dead. It has been about three weeks since the last time I saw him and I feel a true sense of regret and remorse about his absence. My back yard seems a bit less magical, the colors washed out of the day. Still, last night I had a compensatory dream: there was a litter of foxes in my basement: red, white and a sleek, black fox which allowed me to touch him behind his ears, his fur as black and as silky as a hot, summer night while listening to the sound of the lake lapping against the shoreline. I tell my husband that the fox has become for me a spirit guide, feeling so much like that woman in the Japanese fairy tale whose shadow-image, when behind a screen panel, reveals her real form: a fox in disguise.
the deep scarlet of a loon's eye midsummer's dream