I quietly observed her as she dined. With each delicate bite she took, she tilted her head back and closed her eyes in ecstasy as she chewed. I was close enough to the gray fox in my back field to see that it was a “lady” fox, but not close enough to see what meal caused her such delight.
It was such a treat to watch that fox (right here in the middle of a residential neighborhood in Denton) that I froze in my tracks, held my breath, and stood as still as I possibly could. Though every inch of me screamed to run for the camera and snap a picture … I knew that it would disturb her, and I would lose the chance to just enjoy the moment.
For fully fifteen minutes the lady fox ate her meal, oblivious to everything around her. She didn’t notice me; she ignored the sound of the traffic passing on the road not far away; the sudden blast of an ambulance’s siren didn’t disturb her; and the mockingbird that swooped at her head caused her no concern. She took the time to enjoy every single bite she took. Would that we all could enjoy the moment as that gray fox did … and as I did.
When her meal was finished, she spent the time to clean her face with her paws and groom her tail. Then she slowly trotted away into the underbrush.
I realized that my feet had fallen asleep and that a smile was frozen on my face. What a moment to treasure! It felt like I had been given a gift. My few moments watching the fox seemed almost holy.
Although I’d love to have preserved the moment with a picture, and wish I could show that fox to you, I’m so glad that I didn’t! Too often on special occasions we watch the action from behind a camera … preserving moments instead of enjoying living them. I need to remember the lesson I just learned with this experience. I think my camera just got a lot less important to me! I realized that in my mind’s eye I will always see her beauty more distinctly than I would in any photograph I might have taken.
My thoughts wandered to what that foxy lady might have been eating. Was it a field mouse or a bird? Maybe it was a squirrel? “Oh no!” I thought. “What if it was one of my bunny rabbit friends?”
As much as I dreaded knowing, I was drawn like a moth to a flame. I had to know what the fox found so delicious. Tentatively, I walked across the yard to the spot where she had dined, fearing what I might find.
On the ground, picked totally clean, was a corn cob. What a relief! I got to watch a wild creature have a meal … and that wild creature was a vegetarian! I love it when there is no blood or guts.