“The Fox & The Crescent”

(Prismacolor and acrylic paint on wood, 12”x12”)

by Nathaniel Luke Crowson. [2011] 


The Story of Nate & His Foxes

      Nathaniel Luke Crowson, “Nate”, lived near the Whole Foods in Baton Rouge. He worked downtown at the WAFB news station. Nate took the same route on his bicycle to work everyday. On this route, he passed a large, wooded area.   

      One night on his way home from work, he saw something moving in the woods. He stopped on the side of the road to see what it was. It was a little, red fox. Nate was so taken aback that he just stood there and watched for a while. In the moonlight, playing all by himself, was this little fox. He instantly felt a connection with this animal. 

      After that first encounter, Nate would look for the fox every time he passed this area. If he didn’t have anywhere else to be, he would stop and wait until he saw the fox. After some time, he realized that it wasn’t just one fox he was seeing. He had been watching three foxes. A small, fox family.  

      Nate had a big heart and these foxes were special to him. It was the highlight of his night when he would see them. Just Nate and nature. It became his routine to stop and clear his mind and look for this little family. Could you imagine? Three red foxes bouncing around in the moonlight. It must have been beautiful. 

      Months later work crews began cutting down all the trees in the wooded area. Nate was on his way home from work one night when he saw the three foxes in the empty field. They were crying, looking up at the moon. The workers had taken their home and they had nowhere to go. This really upset Nate. 

      Nate was on his way to work one evening when he noticed something in the road. He slowed down as it dawned on him what he was seeing. The three foxes had been run over by vehicles. Their senseless deaths devastated him.  

      Nate was living with S. and A. when all this took place. He spent a lot of time in his room trying to draw foxes. S.’s mom Mrs. C. saw Nate’s drawings and gave him a book on how to draw animal forms. Nate was already a talented artist but this ignited something inside of him. Almost overnight, he began to draw amazing foxes and other animals.  

      January 10, 2011, Nate posted on Facebook a picture of his painting called “The Fox and The Crescent” [see above]. He used Prismacolor and acrylic paint on a 12” by 12” piece of plywood. He took all his love and pain for the fox family and created an amazing tribute to them. It was simple, yet beautiful. 

      One year and eleven days later, Nate was riding his bicycle along side his friend Danny when a drunk driver hit them with his car. Nate was killed instantly. Danny’s lower half was crushed and he had to be rushed to the hospital. Just like the fox family, three lives were ruined that night. Nate was gone, and life would never be the same for Danny and Nate’s daughter Kat.  

      I was curious recently, so I checked the moon phase calendar for that night. That is when I realized that Nate had died under a waning, crescent moon. Leaving me to wonder… was his painting a simple piece of art? Or was it prophetic?


Nathaniel Luke Crowson

Sunday, September 20, 1981 -

Saturday, January 21, 2012

father, artist, musician, and bicycle magician

Inscription on his urn:

“Kitsune, you will forever be our second moon.”


1) “Kitsune is the Japanese word for fox. Foxes are a common subject of Japanese folklore; in English, kitsune refers to them in this context. Stories depict them as intelligent beings and as possessing magical abilities that increase with their age and wisdom. According to Yokai folklore, all foxes have the ability to shape shift into men or women[1] While some folktales speak of kitsune employing this ability to trick others—as foxes in folklore often do—other stories portray them as faithful guardians, friends, lovers, and wives.” 

2) “After reaching 1,000 years of age and gaining its ninth tail, a kitsune turns a golden color, becoming a ‘Tenko’ ("heavenly fox"/"celestial fox"?), the most powerful form of the kitsune, and then ascends to the heavens.”

3) “Some tales speak of kitsune with even greater powers, able to bend time and space, drive people mad, or take fantastic shapes such as a tree of incredible height or a second moon in the sky.”

[excerpts from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kitsune]