The Fox


I caught a fox in the farm truck. At least, I am pretty sure I did…

It’s a wet, dark night tonight. The clouds still hang fat and grey in the sky, though they seem to be done dumping water on us. The remnants of a Supermoon peek through the cracks. A drenching like this is rare and the toads sound thrilled. At times like this, the desert is peaceful and sated, with a medicinal creosote scent hanging in the warm damp air.

When I opened the driver’s door on the old Amigo (1995’s nicest bachelor wagon), a light went off and an animal shape lept to the alert. I remember the vague shape and the dark eyes in the moments it took me to gently relatch the door.

The frenzy of escape took over, and the creature began to run about the inside of the cab as if inside an egg in space. It hit each window squarely with the back legs, as if to burst forth, the chase brightly lit by flashes of the moon. The underbelly was brilliantly white and the canine paws comically dainty.

Suddenly, stillness. I had long enough to wonder what to do now, before I heard a scrambling, and the creature escaped through one of the Jeep-like holes in the back. As it escaped out the back, I lept to see if I could see it clearly, but it was a shape lost in the desert night.

I reflected on what seemed a good omen and wondered about what made it lucky. Until that moment, I had no idea that a fox was in the area. This is important news to a chicken farmer. I’ll have to rethink my security, which has grown lax. I have a jump on things, though, because I spotted the fox.

In the Shinto mythos, the Fox would be Inari, a lucky god and patron of farmers. The Hindu would say that it had brought me a message, perhaps of great change from Kali. The Japanese, themselves, believe that it could really go either way and the Chinese believe simply that it is a messenger of bad luck. The Japanese counter this with statues of Oinari’s Messenger, Kitsune, that stand guard against these other bad fox spirits.

In Feng Shui, this would be Kimon, warning me that my current path was perilous and fraught with danger. The Tibetans would warn that the color portends calamity.  

Or, perhaps, it is simply a rainy night and it is good to get in out of it, especially when your home is a burrow in the ground.

If it needs meaning, I’ll call it Kitsune, our only defense against the demon gate of the Northeast. That sounds better.

fox mask

Of course, it was probably just one of my barn cats, who look like ‘Morris the Cat’ from the old cat food commercials, but that wouldn’t have been as good a story.




Further reading:

The stunning mask was the work of this artist:


2 thoughts on “The Fox

  1. How exciting! The things I miss by attempting to sleep at night! I’m glad our eldest and I looked in on the chickens before driving to school this morning. Granted, we have so many roosters now I likely would not realize if one was missing, but our newest chick, Red and our favorite hens were all well.

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