its true I did. do I share this in a vain attempt at salvation? like confession to the priest. maybe, maybe I want you to know so that I can discharge some of this grief and guilt I feel. there are some people who believe that killing a fox is a good thing , that it is one less piece of vermin around, one less chook eater one less interloper on our landscape. I am not one of those, I love them. I love their capacity to survive in a land that vilifies them I admire their adaptation to hostility and poison. I am love to see them racing across the grassy paddocks a wild freedom thumbing its nose at its predators. I am not entirely clear why the fox is so hated why it is vermin and the dog is our most loyal companion? I have always loved them all way back to the brer fox and brer rabbit stories of my childhood. when I first came here and lived in the shack sometimes while standing at the kitchen sink I would see a fox on the other side of the creek coming out of a den in the bank sniffing around and if I so much as clinked the dishes the head would come up and look directly thru the trees at me. after a time I learnt to recognise their scats and follow their trails thru the bush the smell of them that they leave behind is now known to me. Once I carefully followed a fox with a rabbit in its mouth thinking I was being very discrete at some point it stopped and looked back over its shoulder as if to say I know you are there. I let it be then . last night under a bold bright moon sky a few kilometres outside of bega I saw a fox neither full grown nor puppy stage. it edged out onto the road to the left of me the coat moon gleaming and eyes glowing in the headlights then it seemed to have a change of mind and turned back, before I could complete the thought phew it had turned again and made its run straight out in front of me. maybe I am too slow to act maybe I could have swerved. I hit it full on and there was a banging and thumping under my car until the moment was over and I was still sailing safely along the highway and there was one very dead fox left behind. I could not weep not then but I gasped I gulped I went sort of numb pulled over when I could turned around and went back / I took my torch and there it lay in the middle of the lane with the guts spilling out . I sat for a long time trying to understand how it was that I had killed something that I love. Gently I dragged the fox off the road with squelching sounds and leaving a trail of blood. and a childhood memory was evoked of stroking my mothers fox fur stole. I should skin it take it with me but there was no knife and I could not lift it. I am sorry was my mantra all the rest of the way home. but no matter how sorry I am no matter my why or sadness nor my guilt nothing changes the reality that last night I killed a fox.