Fox & Rainbow


I saw a fox. The third I’ve seen up close. One in Manchester, one in Cambridge and this one in Guildford. It wasn’t much bigger than a cat. It darted across the road, in the still dark, it’s tail a stiff brush behind. I waited for the hot, sharp stink, as Ted Hughes promised, sniffing the air. Nothing. It felt good anyway. The sheer rawness of it. The feral underbelly of a city. Alive and breathing.

The next morning I got lost. Well and truly, shouting at the dark. The impenetrable dark. My feet becoming unsure on the roughening road surface. No streetlights. I try to wave a car down. It speeds past me sounding its horn. I should’ve turned first right, trusted my instinct. Crying with frustration I had to retrace my steps, the same ginger steps, hesitant. It was OK in the end, it always is. But the upset, the fear shook me, more than I’ve been shaken for a while. I shouted at him on my return. He forgave me as he always does. I was discombobulated all day. All day.


The sun’s out. Cloudless. The phone rings.

London was a marvel. Two exhibitions, scribbles and mobiles. Marvellous. Good coffee. Tea-time chats. Christmas lights and the bridge. Then a rainbow. Quick, he said, catch it. Catch it.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.