What does the fox say?

Willow leads me to stray newspaper on the curb of a green space.

We can expect two to four inches of snow in Rockford today. In honor of those two to four inches, I decided to add two to four blocks to my morning walk with Willow.

While walking the doggie, I spied two to four newspapers that never quite made it to their forever homes. As a longtime newspaper subscriber, this didn’t surprise me as much as it amused me.

Every morning before I open the door to retrieve our paper, I wonder where I’ll find the it, if it will be dry or if it got delivered at all. I literally expect there to be a problem every single morning.

It’s in the street, but at least it’s close to a house.

That says a lot about my personality right there. In spite of the fact that most days of the year the paper arrives just fine, I still expect it to be missing or, somehow worse, wet. I expect there to be a problem.

A few years ago, when our newspaper delivery person retired, it took the new guy about a month to figure out his route. During this period of adjustment, we rarely received our paper. It takes time to learn a new neighborhood, especially in the dark, so we didn’t mind, but I would call him to let him know he missed our house.

“I swear I delivered it.”

“And I swear I looked for it,” I told him.

“It must have been the fox.”


The fox!” he said. “I’ve seen him eyeballing the paper. He probably took it.”

I don’t think this one’s going to make it. Thoughts and prayers for local journalism, please.

During that first month, he also suggested the neighbors stole it, or it blew away in the wind, or I wasn’t looking hard enough or:

“Can’t you just read it online?”

Nobody likes being given the runaround, but I was starting to look forward to our chats. Just as I was falling into a comfortable routine of calling him, he fell into a reliable delivery routine.

There are still some days I can’t find the paper. The last time it happened was in January. It was very windy that morning so I didn’t bother calling him because I knew he would say it blew away.

And it did. I found the paper a week later, two houses down and frozen to the side of the curb. As I peeled it away from the ice, I wondered if any neighbors thought I was stealing someone else’s paper. I looked around, waved and smiled to invisible people and proclaimed, “It’s mine!”

Stop acting crazy, Connie.

Then I wondered if a fox was secretly “eyeballing” me, disappointed that he couldn’t take the newspaper home to his den.

Public Eyeballer No. 1.

Take the paper and go home, Connie.

Once home, I learned the Saturday paper will only be available online starting in March. I went from feeling paranoid and crazy to sad. I love having seven-day delivery and will miss the Saturday print edition. But at least our guy will get his wish: I’ll just read it online.

Thanks for stopping by and spending two to four minutes with me. -Connie

3 thoughts on “What does the fox say?”

  1. I used to enjoy getting the paper delivered on Saturdays and to sit down and read it through with cups of coffee. I used to follow a couple of the journos and looked forward to reading their articles each week. I stopped that about 10 years ago now but fortunately I have access to a free daily here in Oz (thenewdaily.com.au) which has a number of excellent columnists as well. And no, I don’t miss the hassle of just handling the paper like finding it where ever the delivery boy flung it and disposing of the collection periodically. Make the break Connie, it may be inevitable without necessarily losing the journalism.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maybe…Our (expensive) renewal is approaching so I know I’ll definitely think about canceling and your argument is convincing. But I doubt I’ll be able to make the break. I genuinely love reading the paper and (to an extent) so does the rest of my family. I’ll think about it.


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