I thought everything was fine. I thought after years we could all go back to normal. That the kids had long forgotten what they had seen. What they had heard. Like any other morning, I stood in my kitchen, looking for something to eat; planning to take advantage of this overcast by relaxing and watching a movie. I should have known better. That couldn’t have so easily been the last of him…
I start to prepare cream of rice with nothing in particular on my mind except the anticipation of breakfast and relaxation. I head to the refrigerator to take out the milk, and after I close the door and turn, my 4-year-old appears. His face solemn. I wait for him to make a request or see if he came to tell me something. After a few seconds which seemed to stretch on for minutes in the silence he speaks but it’s inaudible. I ask him what he said. He looks me dead in the face, our eyes meet and I’m greeted by a cold chill. He opens his mouth to speak again:
“What does the fox say?”
“No…” I am taken aback by this, not believing what I am hearing. For months and months I scoured our ears. I sought to rid our lives of the man who sang the false symphonious calls of woodland creatures. In purging the phones I took no shortcuts. In conversations I took no chances. We fled at the mere mention of wild animals or any sentence beginning with “What does.” We never did the Foxtrot. In books I lied and told you they were creamsicle-colored cat raccoons. I was confident that I had rid our lives of any and all things the fox might say. I was wrong… My son stood before me, and in his hand, like a sword, he held his leappad- the instrument through which the fox returned.
“No…” I repeat. “Don’t. You can’t…”
“NING NING NING A NING NING A NING NING!!”