To our right, in the woods, a hoarse and panicky yipping; not quite raven, not quite coyote. Then, a way up the tracks, drawing our attention quite deliberately: a fox.
I realize it’s the vixen I’ve seen a few times before, and the yipping is her kit, or kits, up the hill from the train-bed we use to skirt the back of the lake: she’s trying to get me and the dog to chase her, to lead us away from her den.
I call Gilly to heel down the other bank, back toward the lake. She watches us go, zig zags along the tracks, makes sure we’re really leaving. A kit gives a final coughing call.
Gilly hums and vibrates, play-bows to me in the woods. I jump at him.
We chase each other down to the water.