In an anthropology of the world, twins are usually regarded with some combination of suspicion, mystery, magic, and awe. So it should be fitting that we close our tales of Gaia’s misbegotten monsters on a happier and altogether more magical note with the story of a twin fox named Moonshadow. A creature so pure and kind that it brings a smile to my face just to write about it. Why, after I spin this final yarn I wouldn’t be surprised if I found a dollar in my pocket I didn’t know I had, such is the enduring luck and joy of the Moonshadow Fox.
A tiny critter with a big heart, Moonshadow greets weary travellers as they wander off the beaten path of old I-10, anywhere from Santa Monica to San Antonio. A body just the perfect size for sitting in your lap, Moonshadow has a tail as big and soft as a winter scarf, a snout like a terrier puppy, and tall floppy ears like a hunting beagle, that is, if a beagle’s ears could stand on end!
With the faint powdery smell of baby’s breath, Moonshadow may come up to say hello when no one else is around, a soft reminder that Mother Nature is grand indeed and nothing beats the tranquility of desert wind on succulent blooms. You may not notice it at first, a sandy blond coat blending seamlessly into the desert horizon, but before you know it, there’s a playful nibble at your ankle, an inviting lick on your dangling hand, or just a quiet nod as it finally catches your eye, sitting atop a petroglyph covered rock, seeing you seeing it, as the sun sets in the distance and a cool dry air blows over the land.
They say that the Moonshadow Fox is an emblem, an enduring truth that beauty and peace will always exist, and if you see one— or, rather, if Moonshadow reveals itself to you— you know you’re on a bountiful path, headed the right direction in life the same as you’re headed down the right strip of highway on your grand Southwestern road trip. And when you see Moonshadow you can’t help but become filled with a mindful inner stillness, the knowledge that today was a good day and your future yet holds wonders you haven’t begun to imagine; the world is beautiful and alive and everything is going to be okay.
… just hope you never meet its twin.
This is the final chapter from my collection of monster stories, Terrible Travelogue, Part 1: The Southwest. You can find the collection here.
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