This morning I woke to the sound of rain on the roof and windsong. It seemed as if the magic had been taken out of the world. Downstairs I wrapped myself in a rich red cardigan, long and warm, deep red, the colour of rosehips in mid winter. I thought about the fox and his winter queen. I thought about the Kitsune, Japanese shape shifting foxes. I found my book of Japanese folk tales and went fox hunting.
Edited and translated by Royall Tyler
The White Fox: Four Dreams
Four nights ago someone bought me a picture of the Kasuga God, though I couldn't see what the god looked like.
The night before last I watched the evening star and a bright moon rise over Flower Mountain. Star and moon were the same size.
Last night in the fields I came to a big stone that looked like a Wishing Jewel, and I touched it. It was warm. North of the stone lay three foxes. I picked the white tuft off one's tail and saw that it was a big white fox. "Wear red, " the fox said, " when you bring me offerings."
At dawn I got twenty gold relics of the Buddha.
As I write down this marvelous sequence of dreams, I shiver again with joy and awe.
A note to the story says:" Shaped like a fat, falling drop, the Wishing Jewel is an emblem of good fortune. The tails of magical foxes sometimes end in a Wishing Jewel shape."
I smiled, wrapped in my woollen cloak of warmth. Perhaps the magic is still here, if you look for it.