Antwohnette’s feet fall heavy in the snow. Ka-chunk, Ka-chuck — each step has two points of impact: the initial step and the sinking as the snow gives way. Caliban, meanwhile, effortlessly trots along beside her, weaving among the trees. His black feet offer harsh contrast against the white.
“How do you stay on top of the snow like that?” Antwohnette almost falls off-balance as her foot sinks into the snow yet again.
“The perks of being a fox.”
“Where are — “ Antwohnette loses her footing and tumbles face-first into the snow. Caliban rushes to her.
“Netty! Are you okay?”
Antwohnette emerges from the white sea, chuckling as snow chunks flake off her head. She then stops, and sighs. “What are we doing, Caliban? I just want to go home.”
Caliban sits, curling his fluffy tail around his body. “We can’t — we don’t have a home anymore, Netty. We’re still searching for one.”
Antwohnette remains seated in her makeshift foxhole, staring out into the endless forest of tranquil pines. “It’s so quiet here. Peaceful.” She turns her head to the fox. “Why is the forest so quiet?”
Caliban walks forward and nuzzles her, a calming reassurance to stand and continue on. “Because the forest has secrets to keep. Just like you and I.”