Once there lived foxes, Mom and Dad.

Sometimes they’re happy.  Sometimes they’re sad.

Four baby foxes were born one day.

Jean, Joe, Jim and Jan began to play.


Mom stayed home.  She was always there to help

Each time she heard one little yelp.

She cooked fine meals and cleaned the den.

She was always there, helping them.


Dad was a hunter, brave and strong.

He taught them all right from wrong.

He showed them how to hunt for food

And how to keep a cheerful mood.


While hunting for food during the day,

Zookeepers came and took Dad away.

He didn’t really want to go.

He’d miss his kids, don’t you know?


Now Mom was left to hunt for food

And handle all their changing moods.

And she missed Dad just as much,

His laugh, his smile, his gentle touch.


Mom said, “We must all pitch in.

Somehow we’ll find strength within.

I’ll go to look for things to eat.

We’ll still be a family that can’t be beat.

Jim and Jan, the younger two,

Didn’t want Dad in the City Zoo!

Everything is not the same!

We don’t like this different game.


Jim was so mad he wanted to spit.

Jan thought she’d lay down and have a fit!

They thought if they acted really bad,

Someone would notice and bring back Dad.


Jim and Jan created quite a fuss.

They broke the windows owned by Rabbit Russ.

They started fights with a local wolf pack.

They raided the school with a secret attack.


No matter how bad they felt inside, 58

No matter how many times they lied,

No matter how miserable they made the den,

Dad could not come home again.


Mom was frantic.  She tried to understand

Why the kids’ behavior was out of hand.

She scolded.  She punished.  She tried to make them talk.

She tried just asking them to take a walk.

One day, they told her what made them mad.

There was no pain worse than losing Dad.

Mom understood their awful pain

Because she really felt the same.


They vowed they’d help each other deal

With painful feelings that they’d feel.

And then one day, they got a note.

And in it, there was just this quote.


“I know that you are really sad

Because you can’t bring back your Dad.

And, sometimes, you may be distressed

Before you learn how you’ve been blessed.


It will not help to fight and scream

Because the world isn’t like your dream.

Take what comes to you this day

And try to find a better way."


It was not signed.  There was no name.

Who could be playing this silly game?

Jim checked the envelope for one last clue.

The note was postmarked “City Zoo."


© Lynnette Schuepbach, October 23, 1992

Dedicated to Patty, Erin, Amy, Josh and Jake