Saturday, May 03, 2008

Fantastic Mr. Fox Saved!

Mr. Fox, (isn't he a cutie?), held by the nice man from the RSPCA with the big leather gloves.

Needless to say, I didn't sleep well on Wednesday night, as I was so worried that the fox would infiltrate the house, get into the cupboard and drink all of our cider (see "Fantastic Mr. Fox" by Roald Dahl, illustrations by Quentin Blake). But I am not a farmer. I am a city dweller. In fact, I thought more than once, isn't this why we moved to the city? So we wouldn't have to worry about wild animals (other than those at the pub after big football matches)?

I woke up at 6 a.m. and immediately went outside to check the window well to see if the fox was still there. He wasn't! Problem solved!! I thought. Our most favourite way to deal with difficult things: ignore them, and they solve themselves. But alas, about 30 minutes later I heard the barking again, so I knew he was still there.

Thing One and Thing Two woke up, and went outside to see him. But he kept disapperaring. We thought he was moving between our window well and our neighbours (there's a small drainage hole between the two properties), but at one point the boys were at her house, and I was at our house, and we didn't see Mr. Fox. Where did he go? A little while later, he emerged from his hiding place and the boys could use one of the dining room windows to see him running around in the window well. It was like the zoo! But in my house.

Once I got to school, I immediately saw two friends who I knew could help. They are the type of people who are incredibly capable and always know where to go and what to do. "Do I call pest control at the council?" I asked them. "Call the RSPCA. They'll be able to help you."

I returned home, armed with information. But before I could call the RSPCA, Friend No. 1 had stopped by to see the fox for herself. As it turns out, Mr. Fox was a big attraction. I could have charged admission. Of the five friends who knew about Mr. Fox, three of them came by to visit. Many also shared their fox stories. Everyone in London, it seems has a fox story. Friend No. 2 went up the hill to the butchers to get Mr. Fox something to eat. The RSPCA recommended water, chicken carcasses, boiled potatoes and green vegetables. I thought I could have just put one of our garbage bags out there and let him go to town, but then I thought of the mess I'd have to clean up later, so we gave him water and some kidneys (who doesn't like offal?).

Gavin, the man from RSPCA with big, thick leather gloves, arrived within an hour of having called them. By this time, Mr. Fox had disappeared again. I think he was suffering from performance anxiety because of all of the attention. But now I knew where he was disappearing to: there was a little hole under our window that he was using as his new home.

Gavin coaxed him out, and guessed he was about seven weeks old. This was bad news for Mr. Fox, because foxes don't get weaned until eight weeks. So Mr. Fox really needed to find his mother. Luckily, he was in pretty good shape: he didn't break anything in the fall down the window well. His nose was a bit raw from trying to climb up the window well for the past two days. Gavin took him back to the RSPCA van to clean him up and get a better look at him.

Upon returning, Gavin said the best thing for Mr. Fox would be to let him loose in the wild (read: our back garden) and hope that he can find his mother in the neighbourhood. The RSPCA does have a fox sanctuary in Kent that they do take rescued foxes to, but he said Mr. Fox should be OK. We let him have a good run around the garden [see below] and he was gone. I'm pretty sure he made his way under our fence into the wilds of Greenwich. I do hear barking in the back occasionally, but I'm pretty sure it's from other gardens.

So Mr. Fox was saved, and now he is gone. Good luck Mr. Fox! And look out for Boggis, Bunce and Bean!

Run, Mr. Fox! Be free, Mr. Fox! It was good knowing you, Mr. Fox.

1 comment:

RandomReality said...

Nature and small creatures freak me out. Except now I am all sad and worried about the baby fox!!