Tabatha Deans

Bringing Integrity to the Written Word

SWEET MORNING LULLABY
I headed out at the crack of dawn, riding my bike to work before the heat became intolerable. I’m always especially proud when I ride to work because it’s mostly a tiny bit of an incline, so I have to pedal the entire 10 miles to the office, leaving me feeling like I’ve really accomplished something by the time I get there. Plus the air in the morning is fresh and cool, there’s not a lot of traffic and the squirrels are more playful and active along the way. They stand in the path and try to stare me down, before darting at the last minute to the closest tree, where they jump up and circle the trunk, then hang upside down and chirp at me.
Today there were a lot of joggers and dog-walkers out at 6 a.m., and I tried not to get annoyed when I had to ride around them on the sidewalk—they are, after all, sidewalks for a reason. And there are only a few blocks where I’m too afraid to ride on the road and have to impose myself upon the walkers and their designated paths. By the time I made it to 6th Avenue, which is a parkway, meaning there’s a large portion of grass and pine trees dividing 6th and 7th, I was feeling good and listening to John Denver on my iPod. I passed an older woman walking toward me, and she slowed down like she wanted to talk to me. I had already passed her but looked over my shoulder to see if she had completely stopped. She hadn’t but she was watching me over her shoulder.
When I turned around to face the road in front of me, I immediately saw the object of her attention. Objects actually, there were two of them. At the next corner were two small, red foxes, with long tails and pointed noses, they were staring at me. The larger one ran a few feet to the right and hid in the storm ditch, but the younger, smaller fox lay perfectly still, only his tail twitching, as he stalked a squirrel that was tormenting him from a tree a few yards away. Startled, I suppressed a yelp and rode past them several yards, then stopped my bike and turned around to watch them.
Convinced I mean them no harm, the larger fox emerged from the storm drain, and stood behind the smaller fox, as if encouraging him in his quest for the hunt. The squirrel merely tormented them more, coming down the tree trunk and getting a little closer, making the tail and whiskers of the young fox twitch with anxiety. Just when the fox appeared ready to pounce, the squirrel would run around the trunk of the tree and hang on the other side, out of sight of the young hunter. This seemed to confuse the fox, who inched a little bit closer but never seemed to find the squirrel.
I watched the three play this game for about ten minutes, before climbing back on my bike and finishing the last 5 miles or so to the office. The grueling climb near Alameda didn’t bother me as much as it usually does, thoughts of the fox and the squirrel distracted my mind and brought a smile to my face.

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July 2, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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