Archived Story

Will summer be ‘hot as a fox’s behind’?

Published 11:34pm Friday, April 25, 2014

Mama had a funny way of saying things.
Some of them I understood. Some I didn’t.
When she would get real hot, she’d say “I’m as hot as a fox’s behind.”
The other day, the sun finally “showed its shapes,” as Mama would say. Not being used to hot weather, I used the old adage, “as hot as a fox’s behind,” only to be corrected by a friend.
“It’s not ‘hot as a fox’s behind’ it’s ‘red’ as a fox’s behind.’”
I didn’t argue with her but I had personal knowledge of just how hot a fox’s behind is.
When I was a little girl, we would visit my aunt in Eufaula. She and Uncle Willie were rich, at least by any comparison that I could make.
Aunt Eleanor had a big closet in her bedroom with a drop-cord light and a full-length mirror on the inside door.  On a special coat hanger that was wrapped in bright, shiny silk was a fox fur stole.
I didn’t know who stole it and I didn’t ask. I kind of thought it was Aunt Eleanor.
Uncle Willie played poker and would hide his winnings between the cotton mattresses in the front bedroom. Aunt Eleanor would sneak in there after Uncle Willie went to sleep and get a few dollars. She would give me a dollar to spend. Hush money she called it.
When Uncle Willie woke up, he would count his money and say, real puzzled like, “Somebody stole some of my money.” He would blame it on his poker buddies, as Aunt Eleanor called those bald-headed, cigar-smoking old men.
Aunt Eleanor didn’t say anything and I hushed up, too.  Aunt Eleanor stole Uncle Willie’s winnings so it stood to reason that she stole that fox fur hanging in her closet.
I wanted to get my hands on that fox fur stole so bad and wrap that fox around my neck from its head to its tail. But the closet and the fox fur stole were way off limits to me.
But one day, Mama, Aunt Eleanor and Mugi, my grandmother, went to town shopping and left me with Uncle Willie who was fast asleep under the newspaper.
I slipped in that closet, pulled on the light and put on that fox fur stole.
And, I put on one of Aunt Eleanor’s shiny skirts. I put on clip-on earbobs, beads, sparkling bracelets and her red, high heel shoes. I stayed in the closet looking in the mirror and playing rich lady until that hot fox fur had me sweating like a hog.
Right then and there, I understood fully how hot a fox’s behind must be with that bushy, furry tail hanging down over it.
If this summer is as hot as this winter was cold, there will be a lot days that will be as hot as a fox’s behind. I’m not looking forward to that.

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