Dear Fox

Excerpt of the poem “A Dream of Foxes” by Lucille Clifton:
dear fox

it is not my habit
to squat in the hungry desert
fingering stones, begging them
to heal, not me but the dry mornings
and bitter nights.
it is not your habit
to watch, none of this
is ours, sister fox.
tell yourself that anytime now
we will rise and walk away
from somebody else’s life.
any time.

Excerpt from Wildlife and Man in Texas by Robin W. Doughty:

The lobo or “loafer” (Canis lupus) was the size of a Newfoundland dog; Smithwick mentioned it as three feet high and six or seven feet long. These animals with shaggy, lionlike manes roamed the brushy area north of Austin in the early 1850s and could drag down a grown milch cow. When cattle operations were established in the southern plans and bison were decimated, the large lobo wolf assumed the image of a yellow-eyed, cold-blooded killer, and it paid the penalty. One author in the mid-1850s noted that ranchers set out poisoned carcasses for wolves, used dogs to track them down, dug into dens, and shot individuals on sight. Frank Dobie declared that that one test of a ranch hand’s ability was to run down a lobo; however, not many could accomplish this without breaking down their horses. A better way was “to stake out the head of a slaughtered beef, and then with two dry hides, which would stay in any kind of propped position, make, a little off to one side, a tent-shaped blind for concealing a man with a gun.”

The horrors of trapping, from Wisconsin Wildlife Ethic

Dead foxes in a row, by Rolland on flickr

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