Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Fox Whisperer

Yet another blog without a photo, and oh how I wish there was one, or better yet, a series. But even if my camera had been in my hand, turned on, I would probably have missed the shot. It all happened so fast.

Tina wanted to take the dogs out for a run in the country. They looooooove the drive, and the gallop through the grass with the wind whipping through their ears. And there's not much longer till anything fun outdoors is only a distant memory. So we packed up all 3 dogs, all 3 kids, and drove out on the gravel roads west of town.

Last week, Tina had found a beautiful old abandoned house, and wanted to show it to me. We parked down at the road, and walked up the long, curved ruts that had once been a driveway. True to her description, it was beautiful. All the windows were gone, so you could look right in and see all the incredibly bright colors that had once been on the walls, and yes, the ceiling. The lower part of the walls had been forest green, with a vibrant yellow on the upper part, and the ceiling was a deep royal blue. Old cupboards still cling to the walls, and gorgeous disintegrating doors sag forlornly.

Tina went right on in. I didn't. As much as I like to explore, I have this thing about not wanting to plunge suddenly into dark basements, leaving chunks of my body behind on the way down. I'm just funny that way. Tina thinks she will somehow just know when the floor is unsafe, and that she can float if anything goes wrong.

Those little differences of world view leave her with all the best things to see, and me outside, pressing my nose against where the glass used to be. "At least you won't fall into the basement," I try to console myself.

While Tina gingerly worked her way upstairs - it not being sufficient to fall only into the basement, she wants to fall through the ground floor first and THEN into the basement - I began peeking into each window, feet planted firmly on the ground.

Right above my head, I heard her squeal or squawk or something, and this awful-sounding noise right above Damon and me. I ducked my head and closed my eyes. Don't fall on me! Don't fall on me! Don't fall, either....

A plopping sound and instantaneous ruckus behind me made me whip around, only to see a glorious red fox streaking off into the sunset, Finley hot on his poofy tail, and all the other dogs hot on Finley's hindquarters. Finley has no tail, so that's probably why he was so intent on capturing that one, to assuage his inferiority complex.

As it turned out, upon having his second-story haven disturbed, the courageous flying fox took to the air and hurled himself out the window, leaping far out directly over Damon and me, and was well on his way to Canada before I even saw him.

Finley has never chased a fox before. I have never seen a wild fox so close, much less had one jump over the top of me before. Tina has never startled a fox in an upstairs bedroom before. It was a day of firsts. I'm guessing there may have even been a couple of firsts for the fox.

Cringing and looking upward for more raining foxes,
Noni Beth

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