Fox Friend

I'm pulled out of my slumber by the incessant droning of an alarm and groan. I am finally able to open my eyes. Rolling over to look over the edge of my bed, with a groan I get out of bed. Then of course my feet touch the cold concrete floor of my room. Making me groan again, it's just awful to wake up needing to go to the bathroom but between your warm bed and the cold porcelain throne. Nothing to keep your feet warm with the ice cold ceramic tiles for the bathroom floor and the concrete floor that is probably only a degree warmer but it's still too damn cold.

Rubbing the crusted sleep from my eyes as I am woken up by the cold. While stretching my arms to try and get some life into them, I am forced to stifle the accompanying yawn. I finish up to move on to taking my hot shower to finish waking me and to put me in a good mood. I don’t know about other people that have lived in this kind of situation, but I am in a terrible mood when I become awake enough to not be able to go back to bed. This is the result of having to do the morning shuffle to the bathroom across what always feels like the icy north.

Clean, warm, and comfortably awake now I begin to dress for the day. Today like most days I decided to wear one of the pairs of BDU’s from my Dad, who was a career Ranger. With a standard brown undershirt on first then I pull up the pattern for today which I chose as Woodland. Then finishing with my usual pair of Combat Boots that were issued to him before I had been born. Tying them tightly with the pants tucked in and the excess is pulled over the top of the boots. I quickly check the time on my watch, deciding that I have enough time for a quick load of laundry. I put on my glasses before grabbing my dirty clothes hamper heading to the stairs. I carry myself up the flight of stairs leading out of my room in the basement into the kitchen. I enter the kitchen, setting the basket of dirty clothes in front of the laundry room door. Turning around to check the weekly chore board on the door. Noticing that everyone has checked off that they did a load of laundry already this week. Shit, this means I will do them myself. With the monthly communal laundry day will be after I leave the country.

Deciding that I may as well wait and ask if anyone had any dirty clothes that they want washed because I don’t have more than ⅔of a load, we always do our best to conserve our family resources. So with that out of the way for now I turn my attention to my demanding stomach which wants breakfast. I then do what is expected of the first up, I head to the fridge to start breakfast. Breakfast is nothing really special, just eggs, ham, bacon, and hashbrowns. It is however enough to wake the rest of the family, soon the sound of the usual morning breakfast shuffle could be heard throughout the house. After everyone had found the kitchen through their hazy half­asleep state, we all sit down to enjoy the hot breakfast.

“Anyone have any laundry that needs to be washed?” I ask when I find most of us taking a break from stuffing our faces.

"Yeah if you're offering to do a load. I have a few things that could use one.” My eldest brother states with a heavy sigh after taking a long drink from his coffee. He gives me his signature blank stare to me with his bleary blue eyes and his rough stubble marked with crumbs. Causing me to break into a laughing fit that seems to bring him to world of the living just to give me this very annoyed look.

“And what are you finding so funny, Little Kit?” David asks in a heated tone letting me know that he is a little pissed off to have me laughing at him so early in the morning. The fact that he was using the nickname the family, followed by everyone else in the area, of Little Kit lets me know that he is mostly joking. I don’t really mind that everyone I know calls me ‘Little Kit’, it actually makes me feel quite proud of how I earned that reputation as the town’s ‘Kit’.

******

Several years ago.

I had found a red kit under our back deck, he was so small even to my kiddy hands. Well not knowing what I was really doing I decided to crawl under to help the kit, it wasn’t until later that I found out its sex, I was barely small enough to fit in the small space in the far back where he was. Once I was about a third of a meter away, the kit suddenly charged at me. Instead of trying to get around me and escape, or even straight out attacking me the kit did something completely unexpected. The kit had ran to the bottom of my sweatshirt and crawled up into it staying about upper stomach. A moment later I am snapped out of my surprise realizing that it is easier now than what I had planned. I mean the whole point was to bring the kit out to make sure it was okay. Now it had burrowed in a way that I don’t have to use both my hands to hold it on the crawl out, just keeping one on it to keep it in place.

Upon getting out, not really knowing what I should do now that I got the kit out, I race to my bedroom easily avoiding my family along the way. Once I get us there and alone with the door closed and locked ensuring we remain alone. I think I heard once that baby animals like to be swaddled because it’s like their den or something. So I head into ‘Pillow base camp’, my pillow fort. Once I get the entrance blanket down so the kit can’t run I gently take it out from under my sweatshirt and t­shirt. As soon as he feels the cooler air in my room he gives a soft cry, so thinking he didn’t like the cold I decided to place a few of my fluffiest blankets under me as I lay on my stomach with the kit in my hands. We sat there for so long just looking into the other’s eyes not moving for a long time.

After some time of looking at each other like that I guess he decided that I was not going to hurt him, so he walked well waddled to the crook between my cheek and my shoulder. Curling up into a tight ball he drifted off to sleep, I just stare at him befuddled at this. I don’t know when but I eventually fell asleep because I am woken up to my brother David pounding on my door for something.

“Come on, it’s time for dinner!” David yells probably not for the first time. I notice that my kit has once again hidden this time he is hiding in my sweatshirt’s hood curled around my neck to be as close as he can while staying hidden. I'm trying my best to not freak out which would only make my Kit's fears even worse, but I can't help but worry that if my family finds him that they are going to punish him.

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