I Saw A Fox One Winter Night

by Duncan Jones

I saw a fox one winter night
While walking in the woods
I don’t know why he turned in fright
I followed best I could

Swift as ever back and forth
He was sure, and I was lost
And yet he’d often stop and pause
As I pushed him through the frost

I hope he didn’t think me rude
For he always let me gain
Though I disturbed his solitude
He kept alive our game

Then came a feel of being watched
And then a distant sound
Came too the thought, “He’ll not be caught.”
As we crossed the winter ground

Soon though back to our quiet dance
Through the forest maze we’d turn
The snowflakes covered up a path
That I bothered not to learn

I wished ahead to calm alarm
“No net, no gun, no bait
I have no dogs, I mean no harm
It’s ok to stop and wait …”

And after many near goodbyes
I found him by a tree
His ears were listening to the dark
His scared eyes looked at me

A distant crack and something fell
What it was I didn’t know
Looking back he’d vanished
Foot prints fading in the snow

Once more a feel of being watched
And the trees just standing there
They let us play our little game
Quiet, still, and yet aware

But there’s something that I should’ve known
Before following this way
And shivering I realize
What his eyes had tried to say

Now very clear, a closer sound
No net, no bait, no gun
My swift friend was telling me
“It’s not you I’m running from …”