It was in the morning, approximately 10 a.m. I was off work, on annual leave, I was having a bit of me time (you know how it is). Everybody else had gone to work and I was minding my own business. I had waxed, plucked and filed my nails and now I had smothered myself in Dead Sea salt and was in the shower rinsing it off. Heaven you might think...it was until my two little pugs started barking! Now close your eyes and imagine the hot water cascading over your body, the heavenly smell of the oils of the exquisite shower creme and the smooth, silky feel of your skin as the salts are rinsed away and the shrill yap, yap, yap of Lucy and the deep woof, woof, woof of Bill as they told me something, or somebody was in my garden! After several minutes and my head about to explode, I left my heaven and dripping wet, I poked my head out of the bathroom window.
"Will you be quiet!" I screamed. They ignored me!
I slammed the window closed and taking my dressing gown I stomped downstairs. "Lucy...Bill" I shouted as I appeared at the kitchen door. Bill immediately stopped barking (he would. he probably didn't know what he was barking at in the first place) but Lucy was defiant. She was running up and down the garden shed! Yap, yap, yap.
I don't know if any of you remember 'Skippy The bush Kangaroo', but I kid you not, this could have been an episode out of it.
"What is it?" I asked, even though I know she only speaks dog language. But my clever pug answered me by running to the back of the shed and there she yapped some more. "Who's there" I shouted as I gripped my robe tightly round my perfectly clean body. I clambered over the wood my husband keeps, (to save him from taking it down the tip,) scratching and dirtying my pampered legs and nervously I peered between the wall and the shed. My heart melted when I saw Mrs Fox's young cub. He was stuck. The ladders (another of my husbands things) had fallen, trapping this tiny baby. He screamed as he saw me (I'm not that bad, honestly). "Don't cry little baby" I soothed as I frantically moved the wood. The next hurdle was the water butt. I opened the tap and the stagnant dirty water gushed over my bare feet, but I was on a mission, I felt no pain as I heaved the butt out of the way and trod on a very sharp stone.
At last I had reached the ladders. Baby fox squealed and hid his face.
"Won't be long" I hushed as I sized up the ladders, 15 foot of cold steel wasn't going to deter me and with one deep breath and an almighty surge of strength I hauled the ladders into the air and baby fox scrambled over the wall, free at last. And did I get any thanks? No chance.
The second baby wasn't so lucky she was a little older than the first. This time it was late, one afternoon when I came home from work. It was a glorious afternoon and I unlocked the back door and wandered aimlessly down the garden towards my alpine house (which is, in actual fact just a greenhouse with the door left open!) Imagine my shock and horror when I saw Mrs Fox's teenage daughter. She was curled up on my plants and had obviously been crying.
"Hello little girl," she eyed me suspiciously. "what are you doing in here?" I asked. I tiptoed closer and she cowered away and then she tried to move and that's when I saw the large patch of bloodied skin. I wanted to scream and hug her, but with the recent news of the attacking foxes I held myself back! And hurried out of the glasshouse, making sure I closed the door behind me. She needed help, professional help. What should I do? Or more's the point, what could I do? I retrieved my phone and dialled the RSPCA, who immediately put me on to a local fox help line. I told them of my ordeal and gave them my address, they said they would hurry.
However today was the day that the motorway had been closed due to an accident, traffic was horrendous. And as the time passed I began thinking about the teenage daughter locked in my greenhouse, I took some water and a large bowl of the finest dog food, but deep down I knew it could be her last supper, but I persevered and put it close to her and coaxed her to eat and drink. Four hours later the lady from the fox help line arrived. "Oh dear" she uttered when she saw the poor fox. Quickly she caught her in a net and as she put her in a cage, we saw the open wound on her underbelly and smelt the smell of dying flesh. "She needs a vet. I'll phone you and let you know what happens" and as quick as that she left me with the flies and the maggots swarming my greenhouse.
That night I prayed for the little lady, but the next day my suspicions were confirmed. "I'm sorry..." she said and my eyes filled with tears "there was nothing we could do". I cried for most of the morning.
So as you can see I really haven't got anything against the little family of foxes...EXCEPT when they pinch my good gardening gloves!!!