The snow is coming down diagonally. Driving hard. Gusts of wind swirling fat bumblebee flakes round road signs and street lights before hurrying them away into the dark. The cat appears at the window, doing its best to look pleading. He wants in.
Seconds later he is in front of the fire drying off, nose tucked under tail. A fox on the rug. The logs bought at Lackford hiss and pop gently as the fire burns through each ring of growth. It reminds me of a passage in Aldo Leopold’s Sand County Almanac, the one where he traces history with the progress of his saw.
Looking out of the window, the snow is still coming. I imagine the tracks out by the den that could be waiting for me in the morning. A dot-to-dot map of the foxes’ nightly movements – completing the story I’ve spent numerous cold nights and mornings trying to understand.
The cat gets up, stretches and flumps back down again. He knows as well as me that the snow will have gone by morning.