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August 17, 2008


Fox Run

Jim McPartland



When we were kids and maybe still, attractive females were ‘foxes’. Salvation time, boys. Full hips (not too), supple breasts. Totally fuckable.

This is not that kind of story. Pick your mind out from the gutter. Use some water to splash your face. Self indulge if you have to (although if it’s to this nonsense you need better fantasies and get a life).

Tonight, rather than music, I’m playing David Sedaris ‘When You Are Engulfed In Flames’, audio version. Monster Mash is a cool chapter.

I digress-

I have a fox that hangs in our yard. Probably a family, but just one I see almost daily. He looks like a small German Sheppard- not crimson; slate gray. You’ll see him come out of the woods and look around. If he doesn’t see you, he’ll hang for a sec. The minute he either sees or feels the energy, he’s off like a bat out of hell. Foxes have a bad rep from the un-animal-educated. I only know what I do because I took the time to learn last year. Humans scare the shit out of them, they’re mainly vegetarians, and they only eat the tiniest of mice.

Consistently last spring at 3 AM, there would be blood curdling sheiks that came from a couple areas in the woods that surround my house. Nightmare screams. 30 Days of Night material. It sounded to me like a cat was being torn to shreds, slowly, every single night. You could not sleep through this without liquid narcotics. I felt really bad for the poor thing being torn up and wondered why it took so long to just put it out of its misery, like the foxes were having some kind of ancient mammal ritual prior to snack.

I called Animal Control because I was afraid the Fox family might choose my dog Buck as their next virgin sacrifice.

I knew Al from Animal Control because I’d had to have him come over on two prior occasions.

One was when a rabid skunk decided my bushes in the late morning were a good place to live out its hysteria. The dogs had been going wild barking at the door, but they do that every time they see squirrels/deer (both of which are too fast) or strangers. I just tell them to hold their horses and let them out. That particular time, they went straight for the bushes. I stepped out after hearing some rumbling and saw what they were going after. My mind went into vapor lock because 1) rabid skunks are dangerous 2) spray from a skunk is the most miserable scent to get out of anything. I know that because my collie Sam and I got a direct hit a couple years ago at about 4 AM when I could not see what she was barking at. By the time the waif of spray directly hit us, like sinking the U Boat in Battleship, it was too late. The house smelled for 5 days and I applied every shampoo-like chemical (including tomato juice) to us and it doesn’t really help. Once sprayed by a skunk, only time heals because it gets into your skin.

Al had to come over and shoot the skunk. I felt bad because I have a penchant for all animals but once rabid, there’s no hope. It was like knowing I could end Pepe Le Pew Bugs Bunny cartoons and just be left with Speedy Gonzalez.

Al had to come back a month later and take out Rocky Raccoon- also rabid- also mid day. Bucky almost got into a tussle with him, but I pulled a Spiderman and grabbed him before There Shall Be Blood.

I almost shed a tear then, too. When they shoot rabid animals, they cannot hit them in the head- that has to be taken for testing. So they shoot them in the body, but they don’t always die right away. Rabid or not, I dislike any suffering.

So Al and I get into the Fox pagan rituals. He laughs.

“Why do you think that’s funny?” I ask.

“Because they’re not killing anything”

“Not killing anything?? Al, this is the most spine tingling sound I’ve ever heard- and it’s every single night”

“They’re mating

What?? Mating?? You’ve got to be kidding me.

I’ve had some pretty intense ‘culminations of the act’ and (hopefully) provided some myself and no matter how much encouragement I use to ‘let it out—you’ll feel better’ (and excite me for a job well done), I cannot elicit that kind of response. Al says that’s just how foxes sound doing the dirty.

“So”, I say, “What you’re telling me is that at 3 AM I should stick my head out the door and yell GET A FUCKING ROOM!


Don’t know what good that would do as I’ve never seen a fox suite at any Marriott.

I feel like Dr. Doolittle sometimes. All the creatures scurrying about. I do think I have some kind of good animal karma that draws them to me. I just wish it wasn’t when they’re sick and I can’t mend them back to health or they’re frisky, upsetting my sleeping patterns.

And, unlike Walter can probably do with Amy, they do not sit on my shoulders whistling cute Walt Disney songs.