Saturday, January 7, 2017
Fox On The Run
I looked up from my work at the trimming wheel yesterday just in time to see a fox running across the frozen lake. For sure it was a fox. It was too low to the ground to be a coyote and far too fast to be a muskrat or groundhog.
Even from my vantage point on a distant shore, though I couldn't make out any details of color or anatomy, I still sensed an urgency to his gait. He was in a hurry and he was going somewhere.
I was immediately more unsettled than amused. Why would a fox be running across the lake in the middle of the day? Was he running to or from something? He was dead center to the lake -- equidistant -- quite distant -- from the safety of any shore. And sure, he was small, agile, and light, but the ice was not only thin in some places -- some of the lake wasn't even yet frozen.
What if he was running from some danger and the lake was his only -- and equally dangerous -- option?
And even if he had just set out into the unknown to forage, it was just as likely he was leaving slim pickins behind for even slimmer.
I started to try to imagine a narrative that might comfort me. Maybe I had looked up just in time to see him returning from mid-lake rather than crossing it. That helped some. If that was the case, most of the imagined fears and dangers of thin ice and unknown territory would be ameliorated. Maybe the fox was returning home.
Or maybe I was simply projecting. It's the beginning of the year. There's a lake to cross. I don't know what's on the other side. I don't know where the good ice is -- or if it is. And I'm running like mad. Like a fox on the run.
I wonder if there was a fox at all?