Brother Fox and the Lasting Lesson

The following is a true account of the events of the day. Whatever true means to you.

My day started like most weekends for me at about 10 am. I like to sleep in on the weekend and really rest. I woke up and flipped around on tinder and jerked my gerk. From there I decided it was time to awake and I decided to plan out my day.  My plan is as follows: foam roll, do yoga, eat, lift after a while and then do whatever. I got through my foam rolling and decided to do a pretty difficult, at least for me, yoga with Adrienne flow. I felt antsy throughout the flow but I quieted that down as best as I could. Missing breaths along the way. At the end in shavasana while I was laying there I decided to as Odin, the central god archetype in the story of my life for help just in general, whether that means help being outside more or whether it was learning to do the right and just types of actions, but really just help. And a deep voice yelled in my head in a stern but caring tone that I could tell had learned English as a second or third of fourth language “then get off your ass”. Usually I’ll say fuck it that’s just my mind but this was enough to make me get up and feel good and wonder about life as I went down stairs to prepare my coffee(with butter, hemp oil, sage macadamia nut oil, bone broth powder, honey and a host of other things that are too numerous to mention) and breakfast (week old Moo goo gai pan with two eggs thrown in and some jalapeno cheddar cheese).

As I sat down to my meal I through on the TV and saw that one of my favorite James Bond movies was on, what luck! As I was watching the action on the screen and eating my shit food and drinking my great drink I realized that I had left my phone upstairs and wanted to look something up. I went u stairs to see that I had a missed call from my sister in law. I called her back as I walked down the stairs and back to my food. She answered and told me that while my nephews were playing outside in the unseasonably warm weather they had noticed a dead fox was lying right next to the house and under where the dryer heat lets out.

What I relay next is what I believe could be the last few moments of life of what I will come to see is one of the most beautiful creatures I have ever seen: this could go two ways, either the fox was poisoned on purpose or was accidentally poisoned upon finding some mice that someone had poisoned and ate them as it was the winter and food was scarce. Upon realizing it was not feeling well the usual coyness of the fox was given up within a search for comfort until it found the warmth of the dryer exhaust and promptly laid down to die. I don’t know how long it had been dead as before this week, frigid temperatures were the norm and could have kept it frozen and would have dampened the smell of it from scavengers especially after snow fell on it.

I replied that I would come and sort it out after I had finished my breakfast. I was hoping that I would be possible to place it into a plastic bag, put it into the trunk of my car and drive it back to my house and bury it at my house near my sacred tree and then dig it’s skull up after the ground dwellers feast and clean it for it to be used in ceremony like I have done with deer skulls in the past. I would have liked to at least skin it out to keep its hide but on the off chance it had rabies or trichinosis I would rather not get the blood of this animal on me in case I had a cut or scrape. I also didn’t want to leave it there because what some people have proposed is an 800 lbs black bear leaves near there and is already quite comfortable to dig through the neighbors garbage and knows when trash day is and would most likely love to scavenge the dead body of a fox so close to where my nephews play. I finished breakfast, and went upstairs to  put on my boots, leaving James Bond to play to someone else’s’ meals.

I grabbed my keys and left out the front door noticing that it had started to rain a bit and remembering that there was supposed to be a storm-a-coming. As I got closer to my destination I noticed that the storm was getting worse but still not undrivable by any means. As I made the turn out of and away to the north of Dorrance Township, moving the opposite of the famed Dorrance Inn and Tavern the storm decided it didn’t want me to do the deed I must do and came on hard and fast at the exact moment I turned so that I had to have the windshield wipers at full blast.

After about a mile of this I noticed that it was intensifying and hail was starting to fall. “should have checked the fucking weather” I thought to myself while trying to figure out what indeed I was going to do once I got to my sister in laws. I didn’t have time to think for long however because the weather outside was getting worse by the second. I was learning a lot about german engineered cars as I was darting back and forth along to road to avoid the falling branches and fallen branches made weak and brittle by the lack of activity during the winter. Soon I was only able to see right after the wiper blades had passed by and then almost not at all. I was forced to try to discern the difference between tan and yellow of the same hue through an opaque windshield to figure out where I was and If I was keeping it between the mustard and the mayonnaise. The car was shaking and I was wondering is this was a test to see If I would go on that the universe decided to throw at me. I continued on. As I reached the halfway point of what should have been a quick journey, the ran slowed down to a low monsoon and I could drive and see again. I continued on dogging incoming fire and branches already on the ground. Alas about a half hour later I made, wonder what I would have been like If I had tried to take the interstate there.

As I walked inside it continued to pour. I was greeted by first the little one then the middle child telling me that they had already laid claim to the skull of the dead creature and were arguing back and forth about which one saw it first. Well I guess I am out of the running however their mother told them that they are not bring a skull into her house. Back in the running again.

I went outside to investigate but could not find this creature that I had braved a severe storm and a tornado warning to return to the earth. What I found touched my heart. Laying there feet to the mountain, head pointed towards the nearest ridge line as if it was sleeping peacefully was a purely multicolored grey fox. I don’t have words to describe the complexity of the husk of what could only be described as one of the most beautiful creatures I have ever seen which upsets me as I feel like I require these words to live. It was an adolescent, possibly weened off the teet too young as a consequence of others actions. As I sat there in awe It started to pour again and I felt like I should get out of the rain.

I went inside to gather gloves and a trash bag. I then consulted with my mother and father both preferring not to have another animal on dead on their property and not wanting it in the car so it was decided I should bury it there. I waited for the weather to turn which it did somewhat so I went outside and fetched a shovel from the garage. It was a smaller gardening style flat tipped shovel which I would soon learn as I was digging was not suited for the terrain that I had to dig through. It was and area or amazing black dirt and I use that word knowing that most people wouldn’t know that the darker the dirt the better it is as it means that the dirt is healthy and full of life. However, this ground was full of rocks  and roots which I could not get through easily so I resigned back to the house. Right as the rain picked up again. Defeated and not knowing what to do.

I sat down inside with my nephews to hang out and play games with them. they were playing a game called Farcry Primal where you play a man in a prehistoric setting trying to gather resources and your people which have been dispelled all over the game area while fight sabertooth tigers and cave bears and the like and also cannibalistic Neanderthal and a bronze using more advanced sun worshipping culture. It is by far the coolest game I have ever seen. My brother came to pick the children up and I decided now was the time to sit and play this game. It was challenging and very fun.

I got an idea on how I could bury this dead fox from playing it. I would place the fox in the small ditch I had made and them placed the little dirt I have dug up and leaves as that would soon be dirt on top of that. From there I would place many increasing large rocks on top of it with leaves intermixed where ever I felt it prudent. Layering it until it became roughly knee high. I had done this sort of thing with my last dog Hurricane who I loved very much. It is the style of the Native Americans of this land and there are dozens on the property that my family collectively own.

I decided to continue to wait out the storm a bit and it intensified. Above head I heard Thor’s Hammer Mjolnir defeating giants in the thunder and saw it in the lightening and the lighting struck right outside the window and heard and felt the thunder as it raddled the windows.

And then it slowed down again, as if to say “Get off your ass” and I did I put the game down and I went outside to what could still be considered as raging storm but it looked beautiful to me. I took off my shirt and through it in the car so I could be more comfortable later. I put on my gloves as I was still cautious about handling the fox and I picked it up off the ground where it was resting, one hand on its bottom and the other on its chest to carry it to its resting place. I noticed how light it felt in my hands, possibly starvation had helped bring it to its end. I walked with it slowly climbing up a rock wall and up the hill towards its new den. I placed it so it was looking towards the lake and possibly fresher food come summer, the bass and the catfish would be plentiful. I thought I might come this summer and fish or spearfish some of those beautiful creatures, wild water beings. I then went about the business just as I had planned, first the dirt then the leaves, then the rocks and so on and so forth until I found a rock that was hard even for a man as strong as I to carry and place gently onto the side of the pile to act as a grave marker of sorts for my nephews to know.

I went inside, told my sister in law that the deed had been done, washed my hands, threw out the gloves and made my leave.

As I walked outside, and towards the car I felt compelled to say something to this animal who had helped to teach me a lesson. So I made my way back over the stone wall and up the hill. I stopped and squatted down and told the fox thank you, I thank Odin for the guidance and the nudge. I thanked the fox for the teaching it had gave me with its life. I thank the fox for choosing this place and this time to sing its death song and then I walked away, back to my car in the rain, put my shirt back on now noticing how cold it had gotten. I got it and drove towards home getting onto Taney Road as the beating of the aluminum and glass drums rang out being played by the rain. I got to right before my driveway and noticed a few branches on the road. I pulled over, turned the car off, dragged the limbs off the road, kicked the smaller ones off the road and as I walked back to the car, the rain stopped.

-Gene Konschnik

Categories: Prose

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