The Little Foxes Salute the World

Little green world, plump as an olive, 
how we love you! 
We, the little foxes 
cavort at night in the grass of your hair. 
The air is sweet with the lavender scent of the chinaberry, 
and the chuck will’s widows 
hide themselves in the dark trees 
and sing their night song like lullabies. 

We were born in the old den, 
the great mound of earth by the oak trees,  
redolent of foxes, 
where our grandmother and grandfather foxes lived from the beginnings of fox time. 
Water was far 
until the human brought it here 
under the old windmill 
towering in the night sky. 
But rats and mice 
scampered through the woods at night, 
and our mothers 
taught us to hunt and climb the cedar trees
to stalk 
  to pounce 
  to rip things apart with our sharp little teeth
and fill our round white furry bellies 
in gratitude 
for the plenty the earth. 

Little green world, 
how we love to be here! 
We love to drink of your water. 
Well water is fine,  
but cold spring water, with a whiff of slime and rot, is even better. We love the little hop rats and the mice, sometimes a lizard or a bunny, a wriggly snake, once a buffet of turkey slices the human put in the field, perfect except for a bit of blue green mold. We love the dewberries and the sour persimmons, the wild grapes that grow up the oaks with stems like trunks of their own. 

We love to roll in your dirt and clean the bugs out of our fur. 
We love to play in your fields 
 and run up and down your trees like playscapes. 
We don’t see much color, but, still,  
the flowers and the sky at dusk are wondrous. 
We are so a part of you, plump little olive-earth 
And we so love being a part of it all.

—Elayne Lansford

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