cover image Fox and I: An Uncommon Friendship

Fox and I: An Uncommon Friendship

Catherine Raven. Spiegel & Grau, $27 (304p) ISBN 978-1-954118-00-3

Biologist Raven (Forestry) reflects on her relationship with a red fox in her offbeat and charming memoir. After fleeing the abusive household she grew up in, Raven started college at age 16 and worked as a park ranger in Washington’s Mount Rainier National Park before earning her doctorate in biology in 1999. Upon graduating, she bought herself a remote parcel of land in Montana and landed a gig teaching classes for the University of Montana Western in Yellowstone National Park. Around this time, a red fox began appearing near her cottage at the same time every afternoon. And so, she writes, “the necessity of entertaining a visitor at 4:15 p.m. each afternoon left me no choice but to read.” For “fifteen consecutive days,” she read Antoine Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince to the fox, and the two formed an unusual bond, spending days together hiking through the forest and carrying on imagined conversations. Along with reverently describing her furry friend—who had a “face so innocent that you would have concluded that he never stalked a bluebird, let alone dismembered one”—Raven writes poetically about the flora (“my sun-worshipping tenants”) and fauna around her. Rich and meditative, Raven’s musings on nature and solitude are delightful company. (July)