Living in the middle of London you might expect not to see much in the way of wildlife, but you would be SO wrong. Our back garden is like a jungle - and that's not just down to my laissez faire style of gardening! It's full to bursting with life. And from where I'm sitting (elbows on worktop, coffee in hand, staring out of the kitchen window, wishing that spring would return) Foxy is the cock of the walk.
He's a great big dude who includes our back garden in his home territory. Occasionally he has an afternoon siesta under the decking or beneath the bamboo, where the dry leaves keep him nice and cosy.
He's an expert on the Green Cross Code, crossing the road on his morning and afternoon patrols without ever coming to any harm. He cruises up and down the little alleyways that run along the back of our gardens with the aplomb of one who owns them. As well he might, because he's got nothing to worry about other than a few hopelessly well-behaved city pooches, like the Wonder Dog, who have been schooled in getting along nicely with the other dogs in the park and never, ever barking at cats.
|Foxy's principal protagonist ...|
I always notice when I go to the country that there aren't nearly so many foxes around, and they don't look anything like so healthy and well-fed as Foxy does. I guess his country cousins have to get by dodging the odd bullet and without any of the food deliveries and creature comforts that he's gotten used to.
This is his favourite morning perch:
The lady next door had a sedum roof put on her garden shed, which is nice and soft to snooze on, and with all that scientific drainage and rain-water harvesting that's going on, it's pleasingly dry underfoot. It gives him a good vantage point from which to spot dangerous predators ... like ... the Wonder Dog, who sometimes even manages to pluck up enough courage to bark at him.
One day old Foxy did push the boundaries a bit. The lady two doors' down on the other side used to have three very fine hens. Notice my careful use of the past-tense. Foxy sorted them out one afternoon in broad daylight. He didn't do himself any favours, because he didn't kill them for food. If he'd been hungry people would have understood, shrugged their shoulders and said that it was sad, but Foxy was doing what he had to do in order to get by. Instead, however, Foxy killed them for the fun of it and didn't eat anything - probably because he's developed a preference for having his meat well done.
For the next few days there were heated discussions about how something had to be done about Foxy. He was getting out of hand. Maybe we should call in the pest-control people and have him eradicated. But, we were all a bit squeamish about having Foxy eradicated, so, after we'd vented enough steam, we all quietly got back to doing nothing about our fox-infestation. I suppose, if we'd had him removed, we'd only have created a territorial vacancy, ripe for another foxy take-over.
Better the fox you know, I say.
All the best,