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 …”