Albion, Art, Books, Don and Wen

Somewhere in the moonlight…


We had watched the sun go down in flames.

There was the inevitable frisson of excitement as I waited in the lane.

Above, the clouds were fringed with moonlight; here though, there was only shadowed silence.

Not far away a crowd had formed waiting…

yet I stood alone in the night…

a child again, watching for magic.

A flare of light behind me… an answering flare far in front…

and then  drums marking the heartbeat of darkness.

It seemed I wasn’t alone after all…


Others had gathered, knowing what was to come.

Or so they thought…

Every year the Foxes dance for the Hunter’s Moon in Langsett.

Every year they are surrounded by those who come to share a momentary and primal magic

that crosses the borders between the worlds with sound and movement,

led by the Silver Fox who carries the Staff and the light.


This year, there was something different… others who lurked in the shadows.

They too watched and waited.

White-faced and spectral, following the dancing flames of the Foxes.

Few saw them in the shadows…

all eyes were turned toward the procession that approached the dancing ground.


I joined the crowd as their banner passed…

‘Esto ferox…’

they would need that tonight it seemed.

Prowling and wary,

the hounds followed in silence behind them…


Hooded figures, furtive…

half seen in the torchlight and the wavering shadows,

slinking into the edges of night,

waiting for their chance to steal the forest throne.


On the dancing ground, one battle had already been fought

and Crow chased from the clearing.

Another, it seemed, was about to commence and Fox,

Vixen and Cub joined in flame to dance beneath the moon.


Too small to see above the towering watchers, I retired to my eyrie,

joining my companion to watch from on high

as the intricate dance unfolded and a challenged was issued…

accepted… and lost.


The strength of Old Fox had failed, his throne was forfeit

and the bone-faced hounds ruled the night,

mocking as they watched the dance woven before them beneath the stars.


Yet there is a magic in the Hunter’s Moon…

a power of renewal known only to those who bathe in its light.

Those who weave the dance… they know.

Old Fox was not alone…


Wrought of moonlight and magic, Young Fox rose from the shadows to reclaim the night…

the hounds, defeated, slunk away and the flames leaped in celebration.


Where do they come from?
They come out of the night…
Where do they go to?
Back to the night they return…
They dance in the dark to pipe and drum and fiddle
They dance in the dark with fire and brandished flame…
No-one knows who they are…


You may find them in the darkness when the seasons turn.

You may hear the pipe and the drum calling when the flames leap high beneath the moon…


But unless the Silver Fox admits you to their ranks,

you will only ever know them as Mister Fox…



Click here for a Review of Mister Fox: The Legend by Barb Taub

Available in Paperback and for Kindle
On Amazon UK, and worldwide

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