The Fox

Genevieve E., Staff Writer

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Fox

The fox bursts out of the brush, panting, heaving, red sides glistening, leaving a jagged opening in the hedge behind her. The hunter follows in quick pursuit. The fox, with darting eyes, searches, searches, and finds what she’s looking for; quick as lightning, she darts into a hole at the foot of the gray stone wall. The hunter pauses, looks around: no creature is in sight. Humans never look in the shadows.

Transformation

Shielded by a sheet of moss, the fox crouches, listening to the rapidly fading thud of the hunter’s footsteps. She stirs, quietly preparing to make her escape. Tentatively, a delicate black foot emerges from the burrow; then another, followed by a pointed, white-tipped snout. Halfway out of the hole, a ray of sunlight shines down from the trees, dappling the fox’s fur. Now the legs are out. Finally, the fox is in the open, her orange pelt shining in the new sunlight that comes with the early morning. Then, in the dawn of the new day, a transformation is made. Perhaps it’s a trick of the light, but paws lengthen into slender hands. The white fur on the snout spreads across her face and thickens into skin, and the snout itself shrinks and flattens. Her fur recedes into an orange hairline and her back straightens.

Girl

Swathed in an orange kimono, the girl with the fox’s eyes daintily steps out from behind a tree. She looks cautiously from side to side, and moves into the grassy clearing. One step, then another, and the girl is flying among the trees, her glossy black hair like a dark turbulent stream behind her. She slows, coming to a bridge. On the other side a pagoda waits. She crosses with deft footing, and approaches the pagoda; inside, a nest of cloth waits for her body. The fox-girl slides aside the door and tiptoes inside, safe at home.

 

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