Jake Sweeny is entertaining a merry fellowship of players at camp-side with continued publication of words from his expanding journal. The group are waiting for the start of new adventures – or the continuation of the last adventure – travelling en route together towards their final destination in Camelot. They have time to relax and perhaps chance to dream, much like Jake who has been moon-gazing again.
He tells me this is Part 2 of Vixen, which precedes this post – https://dewinnefol.wordpress.com/2017/07/23/vixen/
~ The Wizard of Wands ~ Jake’s Journal ~
~ Ranger ~ By ~ Jake Sweeny ~
Fleet footed through a dark forest night
she foxtrotted her path left and right.
I followed I chased I dashed and raced,
into her darkness I quickly haste.
Each turn she took she cast back a look
ensuring I tracked her ghost trail.
Dancing and prancing across brush and brook
with moon lighting her flaming red tail.
More quiver than shiver we moved as a river
streaming between silvery-lit forms.
We slipped swayed we paid bade to glade,
we rippled and played amongst ferns.
I watched her flicker heard her snicker,
hounded her with my badgering.
I rambled scrambled made haste through brambles
with her red umber meandering.
When at last by a gnarly knobbed old hollow
she paused to wait in the shady shallow.
“Jake,” she grinned with a grin like sin.
“Are you still prepared to follow?”
Arrested was I in both tread and track,
yet in my heart there was no turning back.
“Yes,” I said feeling the beat of my heart.
“Then come Jake,” she said, “let’s make a start.”
She turned and twisted whilst I resisted
and disappeared down the hole.
I couldn’t stride I couldn’t hide the flowing tide
spreading trepidation in my soul.
I could have lied perhaps even denied
my fear room to find its form.
Yet that time had gone I was coming undone,
torn by the scent of a coming storm.
Hesitant undecided head and heart misguided,
I deliberated upon my next move.
Had I been shrewd I would have removed
myself in a cunning countermove.
But here was I in sight of an enchanted goal!
With rare chance in a moment spelled!
With courage swelling with cowardice failing,
I took first step without being felled!
“Jake” came a whine echoing in the dark,
a whine with a warning leaving its mark.
“Come Jake,” she summoned with biting bark,
her song no longer a lulling lark.
I lengthened my step extended my stride
I was given over to foolish pride.
She had bewitched beguiled charmed and teased
else tricked and tempted me to please
and would seize me in her heinous hide
and suck my blood and leave me dried!
“Jake,” she said with her whine a chime,
an alarming sign, another tease to tempt me further.
I was unable to resist and continued to persist
beyond darkness farther and farther.
“Hasten Jake you must quickly quicken,
feel the darkness let it thicken.”
“Sense her grace touch her face,
taste the flavour in all things forbidden.”
“The forbidden hidden kept out of sight,
kept in shadow away from the light.”
“Come follow me Jake do what feels right,
I am your vixen on this darkly night.”
Her voice was confusion her lies a profusion,
but onwards I steadily pressed.
When then I stumbled flipped rolled and rumbled,
And tumbled until I came to rest!
“Oh you are a jape Jake,” she joyfully jested,
“A joker a free-loader a clown!”
“But I find it most fitting that you are now sitting,
upon my bed of Eiderdown.”
Dazed and confused I could barely move,
my head had no sense or feeling!
Night rapidly thickened as I swiftly sickened,
my mind raced retching and reeling
Her rosy tinged brush singed a red flush,
a blush brushing the back of my hand!
My blood went racing my heart palpitating!
My anticipation became a fear fanned!
I heard soft paws padding slowly away,
moving in circles within deep grey.
My daze was abating my fear escalating
my instinct was to now get away!
When of a sudden she was no longer hidden,
no longer given to hide!
No longer huddled no longer muddled and
no longer cloaked by night’s tide!
Bright was the light blinding my sight
flaming the fuse of tapers.
Suddenly awash with splash and dash
yet still darker than an undertakers.
I ached pain raked behind my shocked eyes,
the taper’s bloom an unexpected surprise.
I was already turning with yearning to be free,
when a voice whispered, “Please stay with me.”
Disorientated stilled I steeled my will,
chanced a brief glance behind me.
Expecting her lies were teeth clawing scythes,
I was surprised by what was to see.
Her aged lying form lying still and calm,
her pose that of a sphinx.
Still preened and proud her vixen meowed,
yet her eyes had lost all trace of minx.
I paused and turned and spurned my fear,
walked towards her fading sneer.
Eyes slowly adjusting to dim flickering light…
something in the moment felt curiously right.
I stepped with care across the earthen floor,
stooping ‘neath a root-riddled ceiling.
still eager to dash still tense and aware,
and yet keen to explore this feeling.
Where soft light bloomed a little brighter,
I crouched down to be close beside her.
She didn’t watch me she looked away,
downwards into a hole dug fresh that day.
With my sight returned I followed her gaze
saw something bright by her paw.
It was something whiter something lighter,
something carefully placed on straw.
Without definition or a closer look,
I knew what she had unearthed.
I knew by the way she stuttered with tears,
the skull she held held great worth.
Her voice was a quiet hesitant whisper,
Her melancholy strained with sorrow and pride.
“Jake this is for you” she softly murmured,
her gentle words were all but sighed.
Her eyes held tears as she gazed at me,
her sadness a madness haunting.
Aged she had greyed with her memories taunting,
her mocking watching from within.
I reached carefully with my confidence growing,
my fingers feeling around for bone.
Her paw pushed the skull to my reaching hand,
“Jake this is now yours to own.”
I held it so gently as an object treasured,
felt its touch upon my skin.
I traced outlines and contours and folds of bone,
I sensed memories still lingering within!
“A Ranger?” I asked, “from long in the past?”
“A Fox of great standing and pedigree.”
“Noble and able uncannily capable,
he was a fox with immense mystery.”
“He was indeed,” she said, “My mate for life.”
“A King’s-fox through and through.”
“I loved him dearly until the very last.”
“But his spirit must now pass to you.”
“It’s time for you to take up the mantle,
become the force that protects and guides.”
“It’s time for you to show your true mettle,
become the force that changes history’s tides.”
“You have a mission ahead one filled with dread,
but success is within your grasp.”
“Jake you are a Ranger born to serve the crown,
born to complete one precious task.”
“His spirit will provide as gift and guide,
his Love will have you endure.”
“His cunning will cloak his dark shadow smoke,
his craft will conceal and obscure.”
“I don’t understand,” I spluttered aghast,
“I don’t understand this at all!
“Jake!” came the reply “Jake will you wake!”
“Jake you’re dreaming aloud you fool!”