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Oct 2020
They begin their mirrored dance.

“Humanity hides,” Abril explains, “They hide their claws, their sharpened teeth,
They build high city walls, palaces and keeps,
Pretending to be above the rest of the wilderness,
When they are drawn by the same forces that move this world.”

The fox holds onto chopsticks delicately, hair curled up in an elaborate headpiece.
And sinks its teeth into a piece of deer meat. How silly, they both think when their eyes meet.
They had followed a wolf pack hunting a deer,
And were there when the blood spilled into the earth.
They were there when the lightning set the tree ablaze
And were there when flowers bloomed in the ashes.

Abril watches and she sees,
The shadows growing in the corner,
The unnamed dances in the storm.

Abril listens and she hears,
roots speak, winds whisper,
the voice of the crow, the snake, the old monkey,
The earth and its aging gods,
The sky and its celestial maidens.

“But they are also kind, and bold, and daring.
They too, can move mountains.
They too, know the power of blood.”

Somewhere, far away, there is an Emperor,
One or two or three,
Under the Mandate of Heaven,
Ordering a wall ten-thousand miles long.

Somewhere, men fall on battlegrounds,
Their blood running into streams, into ocean.
Somewhere, a mother dies at childbirth,
Leaving her child, crying, as the blood is washed off.

(“A fox in a human coat is still a fox,” Master Yu-wa warns. “They are wild creatures. Dangerous.”
“So am I,” Abril shares a wide smile with Master Yu-wa that was not kind.)
3/5 of The Hunter and the Fox
Written by
Yaoyan  F/North America
(F/North America)   
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