I had thought to walk to the top of the hill, in the evening sunshine, still warm. And the dogs came too, and larry and Robin. The grass is so green from rainfall at night and the clover scents the air.
Ivy ran fast and π ran too, bounding through the green and full of the wonder of smells all new.
And Ivy let her sit close, just for a moment. And the sky was big and dappled with cloud.
At the top of the hill more scents, and then…. oh no…. Ivy caught wind, of a young red fox and was off.
Off and away and over the hill and would she come back? No. Not Ivy. I didn’t know what it was at first, but whistled and called and then heard a barking, excited, yipping. And there in the bracken the tip of Ivy’s tail and something gone to ground. Wading through the bracken I thought of the irony of snake bite as I was painting adders. And then I saw it. Almost grown, a young fox. And away they shot again, through the undergrowth, out onto the path and away and away and as fast as could be, leaving me, standing.
Robin took Larry and The π puppy home while I followed slowly on my two legs. But they were long gone and I could only hope that she would stop and come back, not get bitten by adders, not run into and through the sheep fields. I whistled and called and remembered the time she had chased deer and came back, had chased hare and come back. Get up high, to get a better view. Whistled and called. And then I heard her collar, and then I saw her, limping and walking like someone so shattered, she fell to the ground, panting, panting. Unbloodied. Good. The fox had won.
I let her rest a short while then walked to the hill top to get signal, call Robin, let him know she was safe, then we walked home and Ivy so shattered she sat a few times. Elmo met us at Glyn’s house.
Such a beautiful fox. Such a beautiful walk, apart from the worry.
I’d gone out to find something for a piece of work I am working on, for The Lost Words. I’d found something else, and an idea for a painting.
And now I have two tired dogs, one big, one small, sleeping closer together each day. Ivy and the π.