Photo Copyright: Maggie May
Last Sunday at breakfast time, Harry exclaimed, "There's a fox in the garden!"
I looked out and saw a fox walking with three legs as one of its hind legs was injured and was being held flat to its tummy in a paralysed state.
I told Harry that it was injured but he hadn't noticed. I looked out again and saw a perfectly healthy fox running about.
This went on for a while. One moment it seemed injured and the next it was perfectly OK.
I was puzzled but then noticed there were two of them. One was injured and the other quite healthy.
The sleek, slightly smaller fox jumped over the wall but the injured fox couldn't make it even though he seemed desperate to follow the other one. The poor thing just didn't seem to have the power to jump the height of the wall with just one back leg.
Not wanting to spook the animal by opening the back door, I decided he might get out if I left him, so Harry and I set off on our very short journey to church.
I was surprised and somewhat dismayed to see the fox lying low amongst some shrubs when we returned from church.
I made the dinner and went out in the afternoon, returning a couple of hours later.
The fox was still there.
Well I didn't want to feed it. I didn't want it in my garden. I have rabbits and they are prey.
I decided to ring the RSPCA. (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals).
With it being Sunday, that meant listening to lots of recorded messages and pressing multitudes of button choices. Eventually I got through to a real person who, after questioning me closely about the situation, told me there would be some one coming to collect it within the hour.
Mr Fox was curled up under a small tree when the officer came with a huge wire basket and a neck grasper and a pair of leather gloves.
I guessed he'd done this before.
I led him through the house into the garden. The minute that fox set eyes on the Officer and the neck grasper, he shot towards the shed and disappeared.
After much searching and shining the powerful torch the Officer had brought, he concluded that panic and adrenalin had given the fox the boost it needed to get over the wall.
I felt a bit of a fool but was assured that it does happen all the time. He left with an empty cage and so far, we haven't seen a fox since.
Well, my Sunday was a bit different.