A flash in the fog; the flare of an eye
so light in hue it leaches ice,
a pair of points piercing the night ...
Jack is on the hunt for hints of food.
His snout ferrets through frosting grass
for beetles, worms, the wine of a berry
lost in the roots. The rigorous search
succeeds when Jack snags a nut husk:
he claws the seed cleanly from the sod
and chases it across the chalk, stops it
with his berg snout, snatches his teeth
on the chipped prize, chews and swallows.
And then Jack sits, his tail askirt
to cover his paws in its plume of fur.
He cocks his head to catch any sound,
noses at the air for echoes of tuck.
An apron of frost infuses the ground;
surrounds the form of the fox in white.
A hic of a moan hinges Jack's ears -
a novel sound: he scans around
hillocks and tufts to detect the source,
pins it within a patch of deep murk.
He stands and shakes, the snow in his pelt
spraying the tussocks. He takes a careful
pawstep closer to the curling smoke
alert for dangers, for dogs and men.
A human, collapsed - the huffs of its creels
are muffled in limbs. He moves closer,
eager to sniff it for snatches of grub ...
it jerks its head up just as he inches
too near to escape! Their stares married,
he yelps a crystal cloud in its face.