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One mild spring evening two years
later, as the dusk thickened
toward darkness in the soft air,
he came back down to his car
as he'd done fi ve or six times
since the day he saw the fox;
but this was for the last time.
He still carried the rifl e,
from habit, and his liking
for it. But lately he'd come
just to take the track up there
between the trees, to the bluff ,
then down to the creek, to see
how things were out there that day.
He had done all you did for
the degree. They were leaving
that place, for one with no woods
but plenty of cactus; then
on to a place with ocean,
and mountains. They settled there,
knew the mountain trails, the streams,