The midnight fox.

Tom lives in the city and he is not looking forward to spending the summer holiday on his Aunt's farm. However, he learns to love the farm when he finds a black fox living in the woods.

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1. Bad news.

Sometimes at night when the rain is beating against the windows of my room, I think about that summer on the farm. It has been five years, but when I close my eyes I am once again by the creek watching the black fox come leaping over the green, green grass. She is as light and free as the wind, exactly as she was the first time i saw her.

Or sometimes it is that last terrible night, and I am standing beneath the oak tree with the rain beating against me. The lightning flashes, the world is turned white for a moment, and I see everything as it was - the broken lock, the empty cage, the small tracks disappearing into the rain. Then it seems to me that I can hear, as plainly as I heard it that August night, above the rain, beyond the years, the high, clear bark of the midnight fox.

To begin with, I did not want to go to the farm. I was perfectly happy at home. I remember I was sitting at the desk in my room and I had a brand new $1.98 Cessna 180 model. I was just taking off the cellophane when my mum told me in an exited way that I was going to Aunt Millie's farm for two whole months. I felt terrible.

'I don't want to go to any farm for two months,' I said.

'But, Tommy, why not?'

'Because I just don't want to.'

'Maybe you don't now,' my mum said, 'but after you think about it for a bit, you will. It's just that I've taken you by surprise. I probably shouldn't have come bursting in like -'

'I will never want to go.'

She looked at me with a puzzled shrug. 'I thought you would be so pleased.'

'Well, i'm not.'

'What's wrong?'

'There's nothing wrong. I would just hate to stay on a farm, that's all.'

'How do you know? You can't even remember Aunt Millie's farm. You don't know whether you'd like it now or not.'

'I know. I knew I wasn't going to like camp, and I didn't. I knew I wasn't going to like figs, and I don't. knew I wasn't -'

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