The little red urban fox in London
It was a cold and dark evening when we were sitting around the Christmas tree, snacking on Christmas goodies and sipping some hot chocolate. Darkness had already descended and the garden stretching out at the back was just a blur of nothingness. The patio tiles at the back glinted occasionally, with the flickering lights on the trees and the excited squeals of the babies or the girls swirled around us.
Suddenly the patio lights snapped on and caught in a freeze was a little red fox. We all just stood in awe and amazement, to stare through the back massive French windows at the beautiful animal. He indulged us by sniffing at what we had put out, but being British, an Indian curry was not what he was interested in!
The next few days we put out bones of all the meat we demolished and it was a lot with the carnivores the boys are. That he seemed happy enough to drag away into the hedge and disappear with them into the woods infront of the house.
Woking though it is a suburb of London being just a 15 minute train ride to Waterloo, it has a lot of trees and woods which have been preserved by the council. Huge massive trees which were leafless now in the winter and which are covered in wonderful foliage in the summer and ofcourse wild flowers in the undergrowth and black berries.
The first day we arrived two large chickens had gone over their to use date. That in the UK or UK or anywhere in the west is a no no. So I took one of the chickens, taking it out of its packing and carrying it into the woods before getting into the car to go shopping for our Christmas lunch. Just watch and see on our return it will be gone I was told and sure enough there was one happy fox having a delicious pre Christmas lunch of chicken in the woods. The chicken had disappeared and I went in feeling good that it was not binned and wasted.
I have not seen one and I want to for luck this visit said one of the American part of the family. Lets sit quiet while Alaina’s wasted wrap sandwich is put out for the fox. Everyone was busy chatting when suddenly -- snap went the patio light in a blaze and there again we could see the fox much to Annika’s delight. The beautiful little animal ran around the patio and we all admired it with its tail and its bright white end.
Today a lot of homes in Woking with large back gardens have re-started the old hobby of raising their own chickens. They have pens and the chickens are raised free range during the day and locked up like my grandfathers did decades ago here in Bangalore and Baroda. However there have been instances of bold foxes getting through the pen wires and making off with a live chicken. That will begin to bring about animosity between humans and the fox like in the old days, and that’s sad. Then the adage of the crafty old fox will resurface and sadly numbers of the creatures will plummet. So let’s enjoy them while we can.
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