Fox and Octopus

I met him at the shore one night.
He was running from a scene.
I was juggling fiddler crabs
When he walked up to me.
 
“You’ve got to hide me!” he said,
“They’ll take my tail for sure!”
“Can you hold your breath?” I asked.
“You will have to leave the shore.”
 
I hid him under the waves
With a reed in his mouth for air
Until the farmer’s dogs passed.
(I tried not to stare.)
 
“Thanks!” he said, “You saved my tail!”
“Why were they after you?” I asked.
“I snatched some meat; would you like some?
I know where I hid it last.”
 
He darted off, soaking wet
And came dripping back just as fast
“They took it back,” he said to me.
“I had put it in the grass.”
 
“Too bad, it was freshly smoked
And warm, too,” he said.
“That’s okay,” I wondered what ‘smoked’ meant
And split open a crab instead.
 
I offered him some of my crab meat.
He sniffed it curiously, then nibbled.
It pleased him and he ate the rest;
A leg, from his mouth dangled.
 
We spoke between waves so I could catch my breath.
They hit him hard at times.
But he didn’t leave.
Until the sky turned pink with sunshine.
 
And now, he comes to visit me–
Calling out at my shore.
He brings a thing he calls a bowl
So I can see him more.
I caught a friend
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