Robert U. Montgomery

July 2019

Pippa and the Fox

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I can't make up this stuff!

During our afternoon walk, Pippa darted off to my left to chase squirrels as we passed through a patch of woods. Seconds after she did, a young fox crossed just in front of me, going the same direction.

If he saw me, he didn't show it. But he definitely noticed Pippa. He stopped and studied her as she sniffed around a tree. Then he watched intently as she left the woods to roll and moan in some tall grass, as she does every day.

He was only about 10 feet from me and finally I said, "Hey, you," just to get his attention.

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A More Innocent Time

How did you discover that Santa Claus isn't real?

As a college composition teacher, I asked my students to write essays about that. Following the obligatory moans and groans expressed for every assignment and some pretend indignation that I had spoiled the holiday with this revelation, they wrote wonderful stories of childhood innocence lost.

As a writer and editor, as well as teacher, I can "read" the motivation in someone's writing and I have no doubt that this assignment moved them, as they shared their memories. Some were funny. One was tragic. All were insightful. With their permission, I shared the stories with the class, as we all came to realize that almost everyone who celebrates Christmas has had this experience.

My own is what prompted that assignment, as well as my book
Under the Bed: Tales From an Innocent Childhood. You can read how I made the discovery in the essay by the same name. Also, you can read about a secret Santa who brought presents to a Jewish friend and her family in "The Shiny Red Fire Truck."

Overall,
Under the Bed is about growing up during a more innocent time, before we allowed so much of our lives to be ruled by technology. It's about family vacations in the station wagon, crazy relatives, and playing outside until dark during the summer. It's about a time when the new television season was a big deal in the fall and kids fell asleep with their transistor radios under their pillows, listening to rock and roll music.


Robert Montgomery - Copy