The Last Fox Tale

Sep 3, 2018


Not long after I moved to Geneva, a red fox took up residence on my deck. I hoped she wasn’t sick or hungry and thinking I shouldn’t intervene, I didn’t provide any food or water. Maybe I should have. It was winter and she made a nest in the snow. I felt a sense of calm and grace from her, and seeing her curled up, I was surprised at how cat-like she appeared, even though the fox is part of the Canidae, or dog family. 


That winter I had several fox sightings around my neighborhood -- one strolling down the middle of my street, another disappearing into the skinny strip of woods that border the nearby park. Or maybe it was just the one fox who’d found a passing home with me. 


In the 10 years since, I’ve had no sightings, and I start to imagine that I witnessed the last fox of the Fox River Valley. 


Wherever I live, I like to try to picture what it looked like before human habitation. On the Sydney ferries returning home from work, I’d squint my eyes and try and block out harbor traffic and the industries and high rises perched on land’s edge. 


In Geneva I stand on the riverbank and do the same – conjuring up images of fox families, abundant fish, and a freely flowing body of water, not impeded by dams. But I have to admit that the present-day view is still pretty awesome. 


I’m Paula Garrett and that’s my perspective