Dear Mrs. Fox

Come crow, come hawk

Take them back

Give them back

The bright coat, the pointed ears over on the left shocked me. Then the kit, in the middle of my lane, took my breath away and barely beyond that an adult raccoon, and then what may have been a mink or a weasel – a wrung-out rag of dark fur. All dead.

Attention, small animals north of hither and south of the pole! Highway bridges over topped up creeks and rills are a particularly nasty trap.

There are many birds of prey around here, aloft, watching farmers plough and seed, hearing newly unfolded leaves whoosh and swirl. The eyes of those birds peruse. The claws flex. Just a little. Not too long now. Not too long.

Mrs. Fox, I did not run over your child a second time, though that doesn’t count for much under the circumstances. I swerved. Wide-eyed. Horrified. I’m home now, and wonder if your other children are, too. Not knowing you are not coming again.

The vehicular death of a fox is a surprise, seen so seldom. Fox and kit together explains something, perhaps. Raccoons common enough, roadside, their rounded fuzzy ears so sad to see. The other creature, mangled utterly, an apt image of a clash of priorities, and who is winning in the short term.

All around, rich soil being turned and planted, lilacs bursting into their final hurrahs, life warming and stretching. Alpacas, of all things, sitting in a corral. Quarter horses in pasture. Farm machinery, oddly large, strangely angled, alien-looking, chugging along the paved routes to hop from field to field. Waterways strong and high.

I saw a wisteria in full bloom near Sonora this morning. I was on my otherwise joyful Friday ride, on the long, long way to the library, and grocery shopping, and home. Clouds gray and wide, drizzling, the sky chasteningly cold after two days of heatwave. The grebes on the St. Clair River have rested up sufficiently; they’ve all gone north. Freighters and tankers gliding up and down, monstrously silent. The big campground is filling up for Victoria Day – the trailer bump-outs are bumped, the sturdier steps laid out. Wool blankets inside, no doubt. No fooling a Canadian in this season. Pleasure boats and sea-doos begin to dot some of the small docks. Some of the older docks in the river a wish held together with hope. Kids in winter coats on the school buses. Ontario’s summer begins this May weekend.

Come hawk, come crow.

You get a crack at this game, too.