The Game


I was going stir crazy. Being trapped in a den for three days because of rain will do that. Once the sun came out, I realized how hungry I was, and my mind turned to the big, juicy blackberries that grow on the ridge. A cute lady fox lives near them, and I’d hoped she’d have the same idea as I, but no, I had to eat by myself.

About halfway through breakfast, I heard a lot of noise down by the road; it sounded like one of those huge metal contraptions human beings use to move from place to place. I overheard one of them call it a truck – whatever that means. I kept an eye in that direction, and before long, I saw a human walking toward me, carrying a funny looking black stick and accompanied by a dog. That was fine; it’s a free country.

They saw me and started running in my direction, the dog howling up a storm. I didn’t bother waiting to find out why; I got my butt out of there, fast. I ran down the hill, and remembering the cliff at the bottom at the last second, I made a quick turn, sliding a little on the wet leaves. I raced along the edge of the cliff with the dog right behind me. A moment later, I heard the human yell, and I looked over my shoulder in time to see him slide over the edge of the cliff. There’s a ledge about ten feet down; I’ll bet that’s where he landed. If not, it’s a long way to the bottom. But that’s what happens when you don’t use all four paws while running.

I soon came to a fence and tried to turn back up the hill. But the dog must have anticipated my move and cut me off.


Maybe I could reason with him. “Why are you chasing me? You know, we’re practically cousins. What’s your name, anyway?”

“Max. I’m not sure why we’re chasing you; it was my human’s idea.”

“Name’s Slick,” I said, introducing myself, “and I’ve never seen either of you before. Maybe your human has me confused with another fox.”

Before he could answer, we heard his human call the dog’s name. Max was off in an instant. Curiosity got the best of me, so I followed. I got there in time to see Max climb up into the back of that huge metal contraption and come out with a rope. He ran to the edge of the cliff and tossed one end to his human, who had landed below. Then, they were both pulling on it.

It was a game! I decided to be on Max’s team, so I grabbed the rope with my teeth and pulled. The game ended when the human came up over the edge. I’m not sure who won, but I think Max and I did.

“Thanks for the help, Slick,” Max said, still panting a little from the exertion.

“No problem, Max. Nice meeting you.” I turned and headed back up the ridge to the blackberries.

Now, to find that cute little female fox.

Copyright © 2018 Kenneth M. Hill