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It looked at me in surprise,
that fox I met that afternoon.
We both stopped dead in our tracks.
I stared at the intelligent brown eyes,
the fluffy auburn tail.
And the smooth, bright pelt
of red-gold fur.

And coming into contact,
with a creature such as I,
it was no wonder that it fled,
turned tail and ran.
The fox with the red-gold fur.

Having mistaken my step forward,
my calming outstretched hand,
as a charge, a swipe, a prelude to violence,
it fled what it thought was an attack.
The fox with the red-gold fur.

“Wait!” I wanted to shout.
But it was that instinct to run,
that had kept it alive all this time.
Cowardice? It was survival.
My last glimpse of the hunter, the fox,
was a flicker beneath the trees,
a sun-caught gleam
of red-gold fur.