Never saw the like of it before:
four sets of railroad tracks on one side,
four lanes of traffic on another,
parking lots on either side, barely
space for bushes and a patch of grass,
an early April day, sun shining—
and there, beside the fir tree, a fox.
There, another. Smaller. And another!
Three, four, five, six! Incredible.
A vixen and her six small kits,
the mother keeping watch, aware of us,
fifteen feet away, my wife and I,
but not alarmed so long as we stood still,
her babies tussling, tumbling, racing,
pouncing, prancing, chasing one another,
having fun, though never far from Mom.
I know it’s anthropomorphically
incorrect to think of animals
in human terms, but if those baby
foxes weren’t as happy as a school boy
on a snow day off from school,
I’ll eat this mask I’m wearing.
W. D. Ehrhart
Bryn Mawr, Penn.