Fox Paws

Once upon a time there was a children's story... I heard it on NPR, read by children's literature maven Daniel Pinkwater one Saturday morning. It was called Basho and the Fox, and was about a haiku legend Basho's conversation with a fox who claims to have written the most beautiful poetry in the world. His competitive spirit aroused, the poet produces progressively more elegant works, none of which impress his furry critic. Finally, at the end of the story, Basho produces a poem that is pronounced exceptional by the fox. Why is this haiku superior to all the others? "Because," proclaims our bushy-tailed literateur, "it has a fox in it."

By these admittedly subjective standards, the most beautiful pots in the world include my pie dishes, dinner plates, covered casseroles, serving bowls, cookie jars, pitchers and vases, all of which may be found with a Fox on them.

   Beauty creeps in
   To a crowded Market booth
   On little fox feet.