Come Out, Come Out to Play


Under the pooling lamplight, I glimpsed the slender figure of a young fox ahead. The fox hurried along the path to the small neighborhood pond my dogs and I circle each morning before the sun rises.

This time of year foxes are a common sight. Enough woods still populate this suburban enclave for foxes, a few deer, raccoons and other creatures to share the sidewalks in the predawn hours.

As my dogs and I approached the pond, I scanned the pathway for the fox. The fox had headed left, so I turned right to circle from the other side. My two dogs picked up the fox scent as soon as we stepped onto the pathway, noses down and tails wagging.

In the fading moonlight, I noticed two ducks gliding across the pond. My eyes searched the opposite bank for the fox. One quick movement signaled the fox standing next to a bush. But, another motion and wait…there are two of them!

Together, the foxes darted into the dry bushes. The rustling sound attracted my two dogs. Alert and expectant, my dogs pulled as if they wanted to join the fun.

One fox emerged from the bushes and stared in our direction. The second fox jumped out and initiated a chase back into the thicket. I stood transfixed, knowing that as the minutes ticked by, I was delaying my departure for work.

Slowly, reluctantly, I turned our trio around and headed for home. Tomorrow, I may leave a few minutes early in case our young friends come out to play.


6 thoughts on “Come Out, Come Out to Play

  1. What a special early morning walk for both you and your dogs. I like your description of the setting – the pooling lamplight, fading moonlight, the path circling the pond – we can visualize your walk. I hope the playful foxes become part of your morning routine.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Leah Graham McFarlane says:

    This is beautiful writing, Beth. Save this for a mentor text–your students will love it. It’s clear you were watching the world like a writer…in the moment!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is the second slice about a fox I’ve read today! It’s cool how the change of seasons and this writing challenge can highlight the connections between slicers’ separate lives. I felt like I was along on your walk with you!


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