End of Summer

They’ve been noisy and destructive. They have used our garden as a crèche for their increasingly boisterous offspring.

They have brought the remains of fast-food meals and ice-creams and left them strewn around the place.

Our cars have been look-out posts and raised beds; trampled on scuffed and muddied.

The foxes are spending less and less time with us. They are leaving home; moving on.

I’m not sure I could face another fox summer with them up so close and so personal. But I have to admit, in some ways it’s been a privilege. I’m country born and bred and only saw a fox once when I was growing up. This summer has been like living in a hide.

Seeing the cubs greet the vixen with flattened ears and wagging tails was lovely.

Chaperoning Freddy, and spying the pricked ears in the foliage as we were watched was amusing. When they grew up, they became bolder and Freddy was subjected to increasingly bold games of Grandmother’s Footsteps by by curious cubs. I became the Woman With the Water Spray to give him some peace.

Their parents were warier and gave him a wide berth. 

All the same, in some ways, I’ll miss the foxes.

I don’t think Freddy’d agree with me. For him, it’s all been about territory. He is most unamused by their presence, though I think they have been quite stimulating for him in his old age. The language he uses to them shows he’s spent time on the mean streets of SE17.

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