Two dark, shiny and wary eyes peered at me through the brush. A dark, quivering nose which was attached to a pointed snout seemed unsure of my scent. Was I danger? Friend? Foe? Or could I be ignored?
The glorious red coat looked so soft, I was tempted to reach out s finger or two and try to touch it. But the animal was skittish, and very young. The dogs had found the kit earlier in the day, or at least the rough location of the wee thing.
When I had released them out into the garden they had causally sauntered along to answer the call of nature before picking up something in the wind. In true dog fashion the two of them had followed their noses, held high in the air, as they made their way to the brush. Then it was noses to the ground with mad snuffling which involves their sides heaving in and out with great gusto. Whatever they had smelled they were unable to get to, so they guarded the area.
Beloved had gone over to see what caused all the fuss, if there was anything to see, after we managed to get the dogs in the house. He came back to inform me there was some sort of smallish creature out there and from the looks of it, the creature had set up home. Which was just horrible news to him because it meant that the dogs would follow the same routine as long as the creature was there. Or worse they’d try harder to get to the intruder.
I went out a bit later to see what I might find. What I found was the face of a very young fox staring intently at me. I never realized before how quickly and easily it is to see things in an animal’s eyes. Fear and curiosity both seemed at play. As did some sense of old knowledge. Surely the mama would be around soon for babies need feeding and all that. Plus I couldn’t make out a den in the brush.
I kind of like the idea of a garden fox, our own little be of nature. But that’s the thing, it isn’t really natural. A fox here n the city, set up in the brush of our garden. No sign of mama, which can’t be good. Beloved recalls seeing as fox that had been struck by a car just up the road. Maybe the mama, which would mean this little one is an orphan.
Beloved says we should just let nature do whatever it is going to do. The kit may make it, or it may not. But this is our garden and thus surely our responsibility. So I call the vet who informs me the kit is probably too young to be on its own, but no doubt has sharp teeth so it must be handled very carefully. In other words, she is coming over to rescue and nurse the poor thing until it’s old enough to be nice its own. But it’s our kit and part of me wants to look after it. The part that says it can stay with us forever and be a part of the family. The other part of me knows that it’s in the best interest of the kit to be looked after in a less domestic environment.
So reluctantly I watch as the vet manages to take the impossibly tiny bundle into a carry-all. I stroke its soft fur and watch as they drive off. And inform Beloved that since we don’t have a garden fox I will need a gargoyle.
Yeah don’t ask. I at least stand a chance of getting some gargoyles.