My husband Mike and I were taking our daily walk in the woods, when we came upon what can only be described as an EX-animal. Strewn about in the middle of the path, were chunks of white bone and a softball-sized clump of graying flesh.
“Crime of passion,” I said, surveying the murder scene. “Look at the way the bones are carelessly scattered about. And there is hardly anything left of it. This wasn’t a robbery.”
“I don’t see any wallet or purse,” agreed Mike. “But I think the body was dumped here. This doesn’t look like the scene of the attack. There is no blood.”
It is possible that Mike and I watch too many real crime shows on television.
A larger question than motive for the murder leaped to our Dateline-addled brains. Our victim was virtually unidentifiable. A piece of skull, maybe a few crushed ribs or leg bones, and one blob of flesh that resembled an alien egg more than anything that used to walk the earth, were all we had. Surely, no one we knew could identify the body from these meager remains.
“It’s a fox,” Gordon, our Labradoodle, said in his head. Not so much in words, but rather, Gordon pictured the foxes he’d chased through these woods before, and recognized the scent even in this rotting, broken-down version.
Unfortunately, we can’t see Gordon’s picture words.
I poked at the fleshy part of the carcass with a stick. “What the heck is it?”
“A fox,” said Gordon.
“I can’t tell from these bits of bone…” said Mike.
“Yo, dumbass, it’s a FOX!” said Gordon. He can curse quite a bit when he’s agitated. We’ve been working on that.I poked around a bit more and found a clump of brown fur inside the rubbery chunk o’ animal.
“It had brown fur,” I said, pointing it out to Mike.
“Oh, you mean like a fox?” said Gordon. He can be rather sarcastic as well. I think that’s from the French Poodle side.
“Maybe like a baby deer?” asked Mike.
“Like a WHAT??” screamed Gordon. But the shape of his mouth really hindered his verbal indignation, and it came out more like “woof!”
We decided to move on, eventually coming across the lower jaw bone of an animal.
“Hm, so, it was definitely a mammal, with molars…” I said.
“Hmmm… like a… let’s see… FOX?!!” said Gordon.
“Maybe someone’s little dog got loose and a fox grabbed it?” suggested Mike.
Gordon snapped his attention to Mike.
“Did you hear me say dog, Gordon?” asked Mike.
Gordon stamped his curly feet. “NO, you said FOX, goddammit!! FAAHHHHXXXXX!”
“Too big to be a little dog a fox could carry,” I surmised, watching Gordon appear to yawn.
“But maybe just right to be A LITTLE FOX,” said Gordon.
“We’ll have to send the remains to the lab for DNA testing,” I said.
“We don’t have a lab,” said Mike.
“Oh, right. That’s on TV. Oh well, guess we’ll never know. Leave it, Gordon, let’s go,” I said, walking on.
Gordon heaved a great sigh and said something I really don’t feel comfortable repeating. We really have to work on his language.