Friday, November 28, 2014

An Omelet in my Pocket

I baby-sit chickens, OK, I chicken-sit, no, I chicken-care. Guess there are no precise terms for the vigilant feeding of fowl. So, here I was last night, all hens in the coop-condo and time enough to check the self-feeder and water-warmer. I placed a rock across the critter lane under the wall to block passage to the nightly convenience store that was kitty-corner to the roosting perch, just within reach of leaping rodents and flying squirrels.
Doors and gates duly locked, I scanned the horizon, no traffic in town this frosty night. Then I saw a red fox coming up from the creek three blocks down. Tail held straight behind his long body, the magnificent animal did not break stride as he walked up the street. His pelt would have been a trapper’s prize. His image could have graced nature magazines. I was busy making memories to soothe the savage within.
Then he spotted me, nose to breeze, eye alert to human, he listened for far away vehicles. Resuming his rhythm, with thin legs limber under floating shape, he peered both ways before crossing the highway. His white cheeks disappeared into long black stripes along his imperturbable snout. The bright tip flashed behind his fluffy dark tail. I remained transfixed for the privilege of meeting this handsome specimen of local fauna.
After starring into the anonymous darkness of the woods, I remembered the solitary night calls of a yipping fox chasing lawn rabbits. A smile crept along my lips under the woolen scarf. I crossed the ‘fox’ highway, looking both ways, of course. Reached into my pocket and found a viscous mess. three casualties of haste must have been smashed while attending to chores. Sticky yolks, snotty whites and sharp eggshells met bare fingers. This would surely enrich the composter.

I felt content enough to let the sight of a free animal guide me between the day and the omelet in my pocket.