A fox in the garden

The first time I saw a fox in the garden of our new house, I was thrilled. I looked out for it every evening and was equally thrilled each time I caught a glimpse of its eyes, nose and, best of all, its brush.

But the thrill began to fade as the fox holes began to appear and the bulbs that I had planted lay scattered on the soil instead of under it. With some regret, I set about blocking the gaps under the fence where the fox was making its entrances and marking its territory as his, not ours.

After spending most of the afternoon yesterday building our defences, plugging the gaps under the fence with sods and stones, I looked out of the bedroom window this morning and saw – another hole. An inspection of the garden after breakfast led me quickly to the place where the fox had breached our defences. A dislodged sod lying on the muddy soil gave it away.

Whether the battle is over or not remains to be seen. I should be sorry to lose our wild visitor, though not his territorial ambitions which, regretfully but inevitably, were incompatible with mine. There could be only one winner. There are, after all, other gardens for him but only one for me.

Author: Neil Rathmell

Writer and former teacher.

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