A New Sense of Belonging
Lightning streaked across the evening sky, illuminating the world for a brief moment. Rain cascaded down on the patch of woods, dripping off leaves and turning the soft earth to mud. From underneath a bush, a whiskery snout emerged followed by a pair of deep blue eyes flecked with gold. The black fox ears twitched, a trickle of rainwater running off dark fur.
The fox pup was lost. She had wandered out from her warm den, looking for food. Soon after, the storm began, and she couldn’t find her way back home. In the haste of her search, she had twisted her front paw and had sought shelter to rest it.
Abruptly, the rain gradually slowed to a stop, and the storm moved on. Filled with hope, the pup limped from her hiding place and started her search again. She tried to sniff around for any hint of her den, yet the only smell that filled her senses was that of the rain-washed earth. Despair nearly overtook the young fox, until she saw a clearing and in the midst of the clearing was a strange formation. Curious, she stepped out of the woods, and hid in the long grass.
A young voice called, “Daddy, look at all the puddles!”
The pup stood motionless, too curious and too afraid to move. Two figures approached her, one much smaller than the other. The small one tramped through the mud near the woods, then picked an azure flower. He smelled it, then giggled as raindrops splattered on his freckled nose. The fox liked the young boy’s voice, it reminded her of the brook near her den. Then, the boy saw the fox and gently picked her up, hugging her to his warm chest.
The child whispered urgently, “Look Daddy, I found a puppy! And it has blue eyes, just like mine!”
“It looks like this fox hurt her paw. We’ll keep her until she’s healed, okay?”
The boy brought the pup closer, whispering gently in her ear, “Don’t be scared, you belong to me until you’re all better. I’ll keep you safe.”