By Pamela Handy
In the midst of a snowy winters morning one small, isolated fox lay low in a white draped field. The field was vast and lifeless apart from the auburn creature. In wake of another pointless day the fox tilted his head slightly as he listened with hope and hunger.
Too fierce to belong to any other world and too weak to exist in his own the fox was inevitably alone to fight daily with his instincts.
As the day progressed so too did the snow, it fell heavy and hard, slightly submerging fox who remained as he was, nervously twitching his head from time to time.
He stopped all movement but the darting of his dark, expert eyes when he heard the rabbit. He located the tiny, soft animal flouncing in and out of the long grass towards the outskirts of the field. The fox felt nervous, dread and excitement all over take him as he thought about the sweet, innocent animal no longer moving in the grips of his claws.
It did not take long observing the miniature creature for his weakness to overcome him. The excitement fell to the pit of his stomach as he stood up tall and sad and showed himself to the rabbit, snow falling graciously off his coat.
Unsurprisingly, the rabbit fled a mere micro second after the beautiful fox had given himself up. He returned to his solemn place, low in the grass where he was left solitary once again to contemplate the irony of his existence – born a killer who could not kill.
Dusk came and the snow subsided to the frost. The fox remained low and began to shiver. His weakness was now leading to unavoidable starvation. When the moon arrived it glowed down on the parameters of the field where suddenly the rabbit reappeared. The fox was weak and remained as he was low, but he kept his dark, squinted eyes on this new arrival out of interest and wondered – why come back?
The light brown fur of the rabbit glistened in the moonlight. He moved quickly and daringly towards the centre of the field. His cheeky, green eyes spotted the fox just where he had earlier that day and wondered – why stay here?
With both their intuitions heightened the killer stood up slowly and the prey moved impulsively towards him. He stopped dead; just a metre in front of the fox. The eyes were their only form of communication. The stared consistently into each other’s. The dark eyes were nervous and scared, the green eyes were very, very curious.
The green eyes looked up and then the rabbit scurried away so fast the fox wondered did it actually happen at all.
A few moments later the fox heard a sound and looked up. The rabbit was burying into the grass. He stopped and looked up and then stared. Content that the fox had saw him he turned and was gone again momentarily. The fox could still see the little rabbit’s head peaking and wondered what he was trying to achieve, making noise and popping his head up and down – hewanted my attention but why?
The rabbit did his best to try and antagonize the fox to come over for on the outskirts of the field was a hill and down the hill in a hidden burrow the rabbit had what the fox needed.
Slowly, and not really sure why the fox began to move across the field for the first time in days. When he got to the edge of the field his frail body climbed down the glassy hill where rabbit was looking up expectantly. The moon’s glimmer did not reach the bottom of the hill and before the fox’s eyes could adjust he felt a small brush against his leg. He looked down and could faintly make out a small, withered berry blossom and some twigs. He raised his head to meet the rabbit’s eyes which looked back at him happiness clearly beaming through.
He was not afraid to eat the foliage and the rabbit was not afraid of him. Where the fox was too feeble to live alongside other foxes the rabbit was to daring to co-exist with only rabbits. They were brought together by their defaults and these same defaults would allow them to live alongside another. Their ironies in nature being their saviours in the world.