Sunday, 27 September 2009

The Visitor

Photos copyright : Maggie May.


Something made me go to the window.
He looked up. Our eyes met. Something passed between us. We had definitely made a connection. I must have looked surprised to see him, but he seemed a little wary and uncertain of how I would receive him.

The scrawny fox turned his back on me, lapped some water from the mini pond, turned over some earth in a pot of newly planted young salad leaves with his paw and his nose. Then, slinking down the garden quietly and carefully, picking his way carefully through the obstacles that confronted him, he leapt over the wall into my neighbour's garden before my eyes could focus on him, using a metal chair to reach the height of it.
Its not as though we live in the country. This is a city garden with high walls and trellis on the top for added security. This was an urban fox who probably lives on allotments, but could just as easily live under a shed in someone else's property.

Was this the fox who brought hens' eggs into my garden on three occasions? Hens' eggs that had the little lion stamped on the side? He had put his first one in gravel and I had broken that one in my efforts to get it out. The second one had been left in a pot of chives and the latest one had been half buried in a small pot of earth. Maybe there were bulbs in that pot. I really can't recall, but the egg is still there waiting for him to collect it. Is he saving it for a time of famine? Or maybe he has forgotten about it altogether. Popping eggs into the the ground like a squirrel does with nuts.
Is this the ferocious animal that kills all the chickens for the sake of it, when he really only needs to eat one? Is it the same creature who takes childrens' pet rabbits and guinea pigs when he can?

My fox looked dainty and walked carefully round my garden pots. He would need to have a delicate mouth to carry the eggs while jumping walls and digging in pots. That same animal with a reputation for slyness and killing?

I felt it was a privilege to have him come into my garden and use my belongings and to have witnessed him doing this.
So come back, my scrawny, dainty fox. Share some more moments with me. I want to see you again but please do not leave your shells everywhere and dig up my plants!







24 comments:

Nessa said...

Fox are such interesting animals. You are lucky. We don't get to see them much.

Hilary said...

They're beautiful animals, aren't they? The only time I've seen a fox was 13 years ago, almost to the day (Sept 30) right after we buried our first cat. We'd found a very secluded spot in the park by the lake and said goodbye to her there. As we were walking back home, shovel in hand, a beautiful fox trotted up and across the pathway ahead of us. It felt like a gift of sorts.

Valerie said...

Urban foxes are here, Maggie. There is a copse at the back of my garden, last year we had babies playing on the lawn. But then an adult got the mange, losing half his coat, and he passed it on to my dog. He was very poorly so we had to discourage those lovely animals. Vets now have extra strong protection for dogs who live near fox runs. I still love to see them though.

VioletSky said...

We used to have several foxes in the city where I live (downtown), but now we only have one (or maybe two?) and as a result there are an awful lot of rabbits. I'd rather see more foxes and less rabbits.

Rose said...

I love your story, Maggie May! I know foxes have a bad reputation and can be destructive, but I think they're beautiful animals. I haven't seen one around here in a long time, and we live in the country. I still think the image of him leaving eggs around your home is the funniest thing.

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

I had a huge dog fox run through my garden to get away from the hunt a few years back. large as life running past the patio doors! Quite magnificent and he got away. I also used to have a fox sitting on my garage roof when I lived in south London as the garage was low to the hill next to it. It was quite a site to see when I would enter the drive! great story and pictures.

Casdok said...

How lovely. They are fasinating to watch.

lakeviewer said...

Oh you are so calm about this! I live in a rural zone, with lots of animals. Still, I fear these encounters, would rather not.

I must get over my fears.

Akelamalu said...

You took me back to the first time I saw a fox in my back garden. We (the fox and I) just stopped and stared at each other for about 2 minutes before he calmly jumped the fence. A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.!

jinksy said...

I have occasionally seen foxes around where I live, too - slinking past under the garish streetlights like a living shadow. Loved your story about your sighting...

cheshire wife said...

I agree most foxes do not look that violent and aggressive but maybe at night time thay become different animals.

Suburbia said...

Lovely post Maggie.

A fox comes into our garden and the children have seen him playing with the peg bag which had fallen from the washing line! I wish I had seen him too.

I hope you see yours again :)

RNSANE said...

What a treat you were given! I have never seen a fox up close and personal although we, occasionally, have skunk families and raccoons and deer, fast being encroached upon by civilization.

SandyCarlson said...

Come back, fox, and hang with Maggie! This is a great story. They are beautiful and graceful. And foxy!

Nana Trish is Living the Dream said...

I saw a fox here in the yard in Atlanta not too long ago. They are pretty, but can be dangerous. I guess the Lord made them for a reason. The egg deliveries are so interesting. You are a great writer, Maggie. luv ya, trish

Expat mum said...

They are surprisingly pretty animals and yet are full of mishief and leave carnage in their wake. Apparently they know not to mess with hedgehogs though!

Eddie Bluelights said...

Foxes are getting more popular and a bit more tame - I see them quite often whilst driving.
Badgers are getting more popular too - there is evidence in our back garden that one roamed around it because twice a lot of earth was moved to allow something big to get under next door's fence. Also there is evidence of it eating a hedgehog because it's skin remains. Might do a post on it. What with the peacocks and the badger what next dinasaurs??

Lena said...

We have urban foxes in our gardens a lot. There is moer and more houses being built in surrounding woodland where I live that they've got no choice.

The strangest thing I witnessed was my two cats out in the dark and this fox sniffing around the garden. The guys just stared at it, none too fussed. At first I just thought it was a dog. When I realised what it was I panicked, not knowing if he would have a go at my cats. He scooted when I opened the door, but the boys just stood their ground until he was out of sight.

I think there's something strangley majestic about foxes - despite their reputation.

Wendy said...

Oh, I didn't know there were urban foxes! I thought they lived just in the country! Now I've learned something. I saw a fox around our property this past spring. It was shy and just darted away. I also saw one last fall, but before this, I hadn't seen any.
I remember the eggs!! It was that little stamp that was confusing at first - but then everything became clear.

The Green Stone Woman said...

I've never seen a fox in real life before, although I've been told there are too many of them. I would love to have an encounter, though I doubt I would see one here in town. I am too far away from the fields and woods. I did use to see coyotes in California. That was a mixed treat, because they hunted cats too.

Ayak said...

Lovely post Maggie. I think foxes are beautiful...we had a family of 4 who regularly visited our garden when I lived in the UK.

Having read your comment on my latest post...I've tagged you to do the same Meme...hope you don't mind..and please don't feel obliged.xxx

Reasons to be Cheerful 1,2,3 said...

We have foxes too but they don't bring me eggs!!

The Things We Carried said...

I would adore seeing real live fox in the garden! Instead I try to charm a squirrel!

Ann said...

May be he was hiding from all those hunting by dogs and horses. There was a news interview with the Two fat cooks today on our TV.

Thanks for visiting.