My daughter and her friend were in town the other day. She came back gushing about why she was back a little later than usual.
The last time I got up close and personal with a fox was some years ago, when I heard our extremely large, strutting, slightly aggressive and puffed up cockerel produce a truly curdling noise, certainly not typical of his normal swagger-like, boastful crow. I ran outside the house and into the immediate garden to find Mr. P. Locky caught between the vice jaws of a fox; P’s shock-inflated white feathers were then frisked and whisked away by an auburn bullet, already half way across the field ahead, with Mr. Puff Lockey’s strangled crow, demonstrating the Doppler effect.
We had six hens and a cockerel then. One hen had chicks and eventually we had two cockerels. Gulp. We had all of them for years, which was quite an achievement in itself. And then inevitably, one by one, they disappeared. Picked off. Sniper attacks. Puff was the last to go and clearly, I was given the privilege of watching his spectacular send off. Front seat. Terribly nice of the thoughtful Mr. Fox to arrange that.
Foxes don’t necessarily generate warmth from me on first impressions.
We’ve had first-hand experiences of livestock (sheep), at the mercy of the fox.
And then there’s the chickens. Or not, more accurately.
In another life, my other half approached- with caution, very wisely- a fox; took a stick to gently prod it. It looked dead. It was playing dead. It snapped the stick. Remember the film, Alien, where something ugly propels itself towards you, fast?
How hard it must be to reconcile with those who mean well by nursing foxes back to recovery (commendable), then set off to release them in some rural setting without any further thought to Farmer Fucked who won’t make much of a living because his livestock is being taken out. And yet the wild is where they live. They didn’t ask for the countryside to be manicured and bikini waxed, sectioned, gated and titled, with no place for the fox anymore. And I think if a herd of chocolate cakes roamed around in my sight line or a flock of Victoria sponges went gambling around, close to my hole…? I hasten to add that I would take just one slice and not squash the entire lot – just because I could.
Anyway, It’s a cutie beauty, this cuddly bubbly, with button eyes. I bet it wishes it could take a selfie. It knows it looks good. And sometimes even animals need a break from all that serious stuff like hunting and surviving. This baby fox is living in the ‘now’ and having some ‘me’ time, just relaxing. And why not? And when you know you’re on show and there’s a camera pointing at you, claim the stage. Want to see how its done? Take a look at this Youtube clip.
Finally, talking of chillaxing and chickens, I can’t end without mentioning the gem of a radio broadcast link below. I encourage, no, implore you to click and listen, after this quick brief.
It involves a phone-in, taken by the late Gerry Anderson when he worked as a BBC Northern Ireland broadcaster. This genuine phone call to him at the start of one of his radio shows was a constant reference to many and fondly remembered after his death in August 2014. Gerry Anderson was renowned for his unusual style of broadcasting and his quirky sense of humour, and this authentic phone-in recording became an instant hit, sparking a series of animations made to compliment some of Gerry’s quirky and subsequent phone-ins. The animation here is great, however, however, I would suggest -please- that you listen with your eyes closed- it helps with tuning into the dialect and also, well, just let the imagination do the work. This recording starts with the ‘Hand-over’ from the previous broadcaster, Stephen Nolan to Gerry. There’s traditionally a bit of deprecating banter/ friendly attack between the two, and then, you’re into the call-in to the station. Enjoy. Let me know what you think.