We live in the middle of a small Midwestern city, and we've had a bit of snow here this week, enough so the backyard looks like a winter wonderland.
Early this morning, just as the sun was rising, we were having coffee in the living room when suddenly my husband stood up. “There's the fox,” he whispered.
The fox is one of a small fox family living in the back yard next door, just across the creek. We saw them often last fall, loping through our neighborhood's back yards.
The fox was skinnier than I expected, smaller, sharper. With the rest of his fox family, he likes to play and prance, and he moves fast. We've noticed a steep decline in our rabbit population, but so far our saucy squirrels seem to be holding their own.
We're used to animal visitors around here. Large back yards with trees, brush, and a small creek make this a welcoming place for owls, opossums, raccoons, hawks, an occasional deer or two, and lately, the fox family.
Our guest this morning came right up to the house and into a corner where he sat, watching the yard attentively, ready, it seemed, to bound off toward breakfast if it should appear. It didn't, and after a few moments he slipped around the corner, under the windows, and into the next yard by way of the pine tree.
We settled back with our coffee, watched the sun continue its rising, and thought about our own breakfast, just steps away in the kitchen, even as the fox shopped our back yard.