How Do You Love Me? Let Me Count The Ways For You

Now I know what it feels like to cradle a dead fox in my arms

Daniel Williams
9 min readFeb 5, 2023


by author

The body lay in the middle of the road, the eyes shining white-green in our headlights.

My wife and I thought, Oh no, a cat. We thought, God, where WERE you? Everything is meaningless.

We passed the body and Mindy said, “I’m just going to pretend it was a raccoon.”

Though that made us sad too. What about a dead skunk? No, that’s also sad. If you get a baby skunk, remove the stink sack, then raise the skunk, it’s almost exactly like a cat, lacking only the adorable sociopathy.

“Let’s just pretend it was something with rabies,” said Mindy. “A goat.”

“Yeah, a goat,” I said. “Those horrible eyes. It doesn’t even need to have rabies with eyes like that.”

“I know. But this one has rabies. I mean it had rabies.”

We went quiet, waiting to see what our choice would do to our emotions. It did nothing. We felt nothing. Correction, we felt a little like laughing. Conclusion: The rabid goat was an excellent choice. We moved on immediately.

This happened in Maine. We were visiting Mom and Dad, which explains why it was possible for Dad to walk into the living room the next morning and say to me, “Come with me. I have a surprise.”

Whenever someone of means says this to me, I expect gifts or pie.

Dad went outside. I followed. Pie seemed unlikely. He got in the truck. I followed again. There were no gifts in the back, none in the cab.

Now I, slightly grumpy, had no idea what the surprise could be.

On the way down the road, Dad told me about a pair of foxes he’d been seeing lately in the back field. He described their fur as silver-white. He described the foxes as always together. He didn’t say monogamous, but he didn’t have to. It was obvious. Lastly, he described them as “just beautiful.”

He pulled the truck over and parked on the side of the road, and this was the place in the road where Mindy and I had seen the rabid goat.



Daniel Williams

A poverty-stricken, soft Batman by night. Illustrator and writing teacher by day. Previously: McSweeney’s, Slackjaw.