As always I took my early morning jog through Central Park as the sun was coming up and there was nobody around. But this morning what lay on the bend under the oak tree was a fox.
    ‘It’s a nice morning for a jog, James,’ said the fox.
    Stunned, I stood rooted, the sweat dripping from my forehead and onto my lips. I could taste the salt as I stared at the dark red fox covered in shadows; he was like a statue with blinking yellow eyes.
    ‘It is,’ I said unable to think of any other reaction.
    ‘It’s very important that I talk to you, James, and we can’t waste too much time, so here it is: I’m a fox. I sniff and I shit and I eat chickens. I’m your average run of the mill fox but the difference is that you can hear me. Got it? Good. Since I have so rudely interrupted your jog I will allow you enough time to ask me two questions then we will get down to the matter at hand, sound good?’
    I nodded uneasily in response.
    ‘Fantastic. Fire away, James.’
    Shocked, I didn’t really know what to say. It was all still sinking in so I asked the first thing that came to mind.
    ‘How do you know my name?’ I said hesitantly.
    ‘Ah well, we foxes are nosy night scroungers digging for food and information wherever we can find it, and it is through this that I got to know about you. I happened to come across your back garden the other day, just sniffing around, and I noticed that a patch of it was a bit uneven. We foxes are also very perceptive I can tell you that much. So I sniff and I dig and I find those letters, James, the photos too.’
    I stare at him and we remain that way for what seems a long time, because he knows he has me. The fucker has me.
    I think for a second, then say, ‘I still have one more question.’
    ‘Ah, the final question’, the fox smiles, exposing his rigid teeth which seem to take up most of his face. ‘By all means, James, ask me anything you like. But remember, it’s your final one so make it a doozy.’
    ‘Why are you doing this to me?’ I say trying to hold back the anger in my voice.
    The fox licks the corner of his mouth like he’s ready to attack, but then he composes himself and his teeth retract into a tight knitted grin.
    ‘I’m afraid, James, it’s just in my nature, we do what we need to survive and unluckily you are now part of the equation. You humans happily take off each other, demanding food and warmth and security: and this is all justified because of your humanity. Sadly, I don’t have such an excuse for my actions, which brings me to my demand.’
    I wait patiently, defeated.

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