Another great prompt for the Memoir project. Write about an animal. Here’s what I came up with.
Now the season, Now the question
Time to breathe a moment’s grace
For the Hunter and the Hunted
Taking time to break the pace
Run with the Fox
Into the wind
Unto the dawn of tomorrow
Run with the FoxAlan White
Into the wild
Into the wild in the fold
Run with the fox
When I was about twelve years old my English teacher was pretty scary. She was a white haired dragon who slayed everyone in her class at one time or another. That year she was also my form teacher. School seemed like quite a difficult place to navigate at the time. Mrs C was not beyond mocking a pupil. Indeed, she did this regularly. And very occasionally she dealt out praise. On both occasions the girl was made an example of in front of the class. Hence, I attempted to glide along that year being noticed as little as possible.
When I started writing fiction on this blog I mentioned I was new to it. That was true before creating stories here I hadn’t written any since school days. Each week Mrs C would set us a creative writing assignment. I was sailing through that subject. Mainly getting 8 or 9 out of 10 for my work. I was more than happy with those scores.
Then one day she asked us to write about an animal. I smiled when I saw Feve’s prompt as it threw me back to that time. Here is roughly how I remember the story. Although I may have embellished a little. That is memory for you 😉
Run with the fox ~ story
The plot came to me in a flash. And even in those days I wrote in the first person.
In the story line I was a young teenage girl who disliked my home life because of arguments and disagreements. One day I stormed out and ran. I kept going until I reached some fields and woods I was not familiar with. They looked different. Other worldly. I stopped and looked around and could hear a noise on the breeze. I wasn’t sure what it was but saw a small hole in the fencing around a field that edged the woods.
Wanting to keep on with my trek I got down on my hands and knees and crawled through the opening. Once in the field I tried to stand but couldn’t. Then hearing the noise again I turned and saw it was a pack of hounds with a hunt close behind. In the same moment I looked at myself and realised I was the fox. Red and bushy, with heart beating fast.
Run like the wind
I was the hunted and had no option but to run like the wind. I could hear the yelps of the dogs hot on my heels and knew I had to out wit them. My fox eyes darted around and I felt my tail swish in the breeze as I fled through the field into the woods.
I thought I may distract them. Perhaps there would not be enough room for the horses to follow. But there was. It seemed no matter how fast I ran, or which direction I chose, they were hot my heels.
I began to sweat and felt panic rise up from my stomach into my mouth. As i reached the other side of the wood I knew I couldn’t run forever. I would have to be strong and face the hunter head on.
With little life left in my legs we reached a clearing and being a few strides ahead I knew this was the moment.
Facing the enemy
Panting I stopped in my tracks and turned. Standing firm and looking the hunt in the eye the world stopped and I transformed back into a young woman. My long hair sticking to my face. My breathing laboured. Standing steady in my jeans and T shirt.
The hunt halted and stared. Then the leader, in his red jacket, shouted that the scent had been lost and they all disappeared down the field. I waited until my heart had slowed then set off back to the safety of my home.
Back in school.
I was very pleased with my story. And expected a 9 out of 10. The day the exercise books were handed back I waiting for mine to be put on my desk. But the pupil handing them out walked straight past me. Then I knew I was going to be called out in front of the class. Made an example of.
My heart started to beat faster and I felt like the fox in my story attempting to get away from the hunt. Just as everyone began to check their marks Mrs C curtly said my name. I had to stand by her desk while she read my story out loud. Everyone sat quietly listening. And I waited not knowing what her verdict was going to be. I kept my eyes on one of my friends as I began to feel hot and awkward.
I didn’t really hear most of the tale. I stood still waiting for her to get to the end. Finally, she stopped, looked at me, handed me my exercise book and asked me to read out to the class the mark she had given me for my work. I tentatively glanced at the red underlies – spelling mistakes – damn I should have done better. Then I saw the mark – eleven out of ten! As I exclaimed this impossibility to the class, Mrs C said, “I hope you were all listening class, as that is how you write a creative story.”
I was proud of my work. But I never attempted to get eleven out of ten again. I didn’t want to be called to front of class for any reason so I behaved like a clever fox and made sure, while in her class, I produced very good work but never excellent.