this is a story that does not end well, there will be no happy
ending. devoid of any apparent redeeming factors, this story
shocked me. it's a story about being on the cusp of life and death.
it is mine now, the only other one who could tell it has no breath
to speak. this is your last chance to stop reading.
it's late, about 2am on a night that feels filtered and muted. i am
working, moving to and fro like a large red scarab shuffling
towards an unnamed destiny. exiting the store with 6 deliveries the
stress, tension, and adrenaline permeate me like cigarette smoke
leaving that metallic taste in my mouth. after 3 successful drops
the taste backs off little, i'm now leaving a man who decides i'm
worth 1.36 and i accelerate toward the crux of the night. there in
my headlights is a fox. a wild fox, about a foot tall and two feet
and a half feet long with tail. halting the car, he exits. fox is
standing there eye closed waiting for the final blow, channeling
bucket's aura, a transparency of wild thru which he can see
wretchedness and shame almost as if the fox is embarrassed to exist
near him. approaching the poor creature, he screams, claps, and
stomps in vain, the fox will not move. for the first time he
notices that the right hind leg is hovering; no blood, no bones,
not even a discoloration.
his own voice startles himself. the fox opens it's eyes for the
first time and stares at him. even though there locked in eye
contact, the fox seems like he's looking down. a silent minute
passes. he thinks the fastest way to get the fox out of the road is
to poke it with a stick, lacking a stick he grabs the most
stick-like object he has on him, the crowbar. as he nears the fox
with the crowbar a car passes and stops, i do not know what they
thought, but i can tell you what they saw; a beat-up delivery car
with it's door open and hazards on, a skinny man in cowboy hat
holding a crowbar walking toward a injured and frightened wild fox.
they left the scene faster then they got there. holding out the
pointed end, he ?lets? the fox smell it, fox has no particular
feelings about the crowbar so he gently pokes the fox in the butt
with it. the fox plop down, now siting in the road like a cat.
several pokes later the fox refuses to shift in any way shape or
form. looking at the fox sitting in the road, wild, pleading eyes
burning holes straight to his center, he has an idea. taking the
hooked end of the crowbar, slips it around the fox's neck,
restraining the toothy end, and picks up the fox by the belly.
heading for the tree line, the absolute sur-reality of the
situation hits him. he is holding a wild fox. 20 feet later he
gently sets the fox down just inside the woods, front paws first,
then rear. again ploping down like a cat. the fox stares and seems
to want to speak, a thousand words in a languages neither can
understand. a quick pat on the fox's side and he backs toward his
cars, never breaking eye contact. if we could speak, something
would be left unspoken. he gets in his car and drives off. i relate
the tale to a stranger, keeping them entrapped the entire time
until they as if the fox is alright now. i did not know. i told him
yes and speed off to the nearest gas station, grabbed a phone-book
and called animal services. if i was less high on adrenaline i
would remember more of the conversation, but i wasn't, they said
they'd send someone out, i smiled and thanked them. i helped.
it's 4.33am. he's about to drive home but he decide to drive back
and see if the fox is okay. the knife's captain plays as he turns
in. half way thru the corner he sees a silhouette of a lump and
knows the end of the story. maneuvering the car so the fox is once
again in his headlights he gets out. he's standing in the road
looking at fox laying there, peacefully stretched out save for the
foot long streak of blood and fur perpendicular to it's body. he
does not move for a minute, then two. at the end of the third
minute he walks toward the fox and picks him up. he cradles the
limp and warm body close to his. with his right hand he closes the
fox's eyes and heads for the tree line, the absolute sur-reality of
the situation hits harder this time. he is holding a dead wild fox.
just inside the forest he sets the fox down. curling the fox up, he
wraps the tail around the fox face, and backs away. he stands there
for another minute.
"i'm so sorry" he says with more emotion and soul then he thought
he had. heading back to the car he grabs his soda and pours it
slowly over the blood and fur in the road, trying to wash it all
away. back in his car he turns of the radio and and heads home.