Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "The Quick Brown Fox"

This is the linkback perk poem for the April 4, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was originally hosted by Dialecticdreamer.  It came out of the March 3, 2017 Poetry fishbowl, inspired by a prompt from my_partner_doug.  This poem fills the "intentional neighboring" square of my 3-1-17 card in the Disability Bingo fest.  It belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.

"The Quick Brown Fox"

Tod doesn't know what
intentional neighboring is,
but he's quite good at it.

All he knows is that he likes
people, and many of the ones in
his neighborhood are old and sad.

When they see him coming,
they smile at the quick brown fox
who is so clumsy at jumping.

Tod doesn't know why he is
so bad at something the other foxes
do so well, or why sometimes he pops
way up into the air without warning,
but it doesn't matter much.

All he cares about is that people laugh
when he trips over his own feet or
tries to jump over Akita the Hun,
who is possibly the laziest dog
in the whole neighborhood.

Tod loves how the house full of old nurses
has a dozen cats and plenty of cat food,
and women cackle when he and
the cats pounce on each other.

He loves the fire station dog house
built by a former firefighter whose dogs
don't mind sharing their home, which is
much more comfortable than sleeping rough.

He loves that Nye Impossible,
who used to droop around the yard
like a paper ghost after three days of rain,
has taken up gardening and doesn't mope
as much about no longer being a superhero.

Tod doesn't realize how important
he has become in the neighborhood,
a little ray of humor and hope.

He doesn't think about
how courageous it is to come
out of hiding and show himself to
members of a whole different species,
when all the other foxes hide.

Not all heroes know what they are.

* * *


Tod Fox -- He is a fox with a brownish-red coat, black socks, and a white tip on his tail. He lives in a neighborhood that caters to retired first responders including former superheroes, war veterans, policevets, and so forth. He likes to cheer them up with silly antics, and he is fascinated by pets such as dogs and cats. However, Tod is not good at living in the wild; he relies on humans to supply pet food and rubbish for him to eat, and he prefers to sleep in garages or dog houses than out in the open. He has no idea how to dig a proper den.
Origin: Among his ancestors are foxes escaped from a captive breeding program that experimented with domestication of wild species. In this case, it didn't just make the foxes more tolerant of humans -- it made them smarter. The scientists also used the Aegis vaccine base in veterinary care, and yes, it works on animals too. Some of them developed superpowers as a result.
Uniform: None. He goes nude.
Qualities: Good (+2) Fox, Good (+2) Intentional Neighboring, Good (+2) Therapeutic Humor
Poor (-2) Living Rough
Powers: Average (0) Super-Immunity, Average (0) Super-Intellect
Poor (-2) Flight
Although he has the potential for Flight, right now it mostly just screws with his balance, making it difficult for him to jump gracefully like ordinary foxes can.
Motivation: To make people laugh.

Nye Impossible (Nye Brassington) -- He has fair skin, blue eyes, and short white hair with a beard and mustache. A former superhero, he lives in a neighborhood populated mostly by other retirees from the first responder field. Nye misses cape work and feels adrift in life. However, he enjoys watching the antics of Tod Fox and has taken up gardening as a hobby.
Origin: Caught in crossfire while trying to drag casualties out of a cape fight, he survived by freak chance, and later developed superpowers of his own.
Uniform: Casual men's wear.
Qualities: Master (+6) Retired Superhero, Expert (+4) Dutiful, Expert (+4) Medic, Good (+2) First Responder Friends, Good (+2) Gardener
Poor (-2) Misses the Action
Powers: Average (0) Luck
Motivation: Searching for a new purpose.

* * *

Tod is a term for a male fox.

Intentional neighboring is the practice of compensating for each other's strengths and weaknesses in community.

Various factors make a city or neighborhood elder-friendly.  Pocket neighborhoods like the one shown here are particularly nice because they facilitate a cluster of like-minded people without isolating them from surrounding society.  Here are some examples.

See the fire station dog house.

Tags: cyberfunded creativity, fantasy, fishbowl, poem, poetry, reading, weblit, wildlife, writing

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