January 5th 7.30am
I found a fox on the road this morning. I was walking the dogs before work. It was dark, frosty. My head torch picked something out on the road ahead.
He lay on his side like the subject of a dissection class. I glimpsed sharp white teeth through his slightly parted mouth. Frost glinted on his thick fur, dulling his rich colour to pastel. His chest was open & hollow, deep red inside lined with sharp white ribs, stripped clean. His back leg was skinned, bones shining blue steel, his tail divided, stripped down to the bone from thick brush.
I loosened my grip on the dogs, let them sniff, then called them away.
Tia, our pup, nudged my leg three times on the road home, looking to me for reassurance that all was well with us, if not with our friend.
I saw him once at dawn. The pink glow rouged his fur to fire as he sleeked across the field. He turned for a moment and looked my way before melting into the hedge.
I returned to record his beauty in a photo, so peaceful he looked, this exquisite creation laid out for all to see. Cars had disturbed his peace, rearranging him into a twisted and anguished form. Crows gathered in the trees above. You can never go back.