Fantastic Foxes – Part 3

I continued to sit quietly with my back propped against a mossy Beech tree, whilst the vixen cub snoozed.

A short while later a bold rabbit came lolloping through the leaf-strewn wood. I watched it, wondering why on earth it would come so close to the foxes.

The young vixen sat up, ears pricked and eyes bright.

Down the bank she came, her hunting instincts up.

What happened next was very funny.

The cub ran as fast as she could towards the rabbit, but when she was about ten feet from it, she stopped. “What do I do now?” she seemed to wondering. At little more than half its size, she had no hope of catching it!

The rabbit knew this too. It stared rather disdainfully at the cub for a few seconds. Then it stamped a hind foot and was off into the undergrowth. At this the young vixen ran forwards again…

…and started to hunt through the leaves (as though the rabbit had somehow hidden itself in them).

Far safer to play at catching something imaginary than to attempt the real thing!

Eventually she worked her way right round the tree I was leaning against, popping her head out of the far side.

For a moment we looked at eachother. I don’t think she really knew what I was, but she was downwind of me now. Catching my scent, she turned and made her way back the way she had come.

Off up the bank…

…into the safety of her Earth.

And that was the last I saw of her (for that day).

Suddenly I was alone again on the old path through the woods, listening to the Beech trees whispering, my body filled with that uniquely-rich gratitude that comes when nature shares her secrets with us.

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Fantastic Foxes – Part 1

Not far from where I live, a road leads up a steep hill. Beech and Sycamore trees reach over it. I call it “The Cathedral”. Every time I walk or drive down it, excitement tingles in my fingertips.

The Cathedral

Leading off into the woods is an old path. It’s my favourite of the paths nearby, perhaps because I’ve never met another human being on it!

The old path through the woods.

The other day, however, I did meet someone. Or rather several someones.None of them were human, but they all brought a smile to my face.

Here are two of them.

Two young fox cubs, no more than a few weeks old.

As soon as I saw them, I crouched low to the ground. These were no tame town-foxes, but wild things, wary of the wind itself.

Unaware of me, they played together, chasing each other around and having mock-wrestling matches. (You can just make out the second one here, being pounced-on by the first!)

They soon got tired and for a while they rested in the sun.

Then it was time for a bit of foraging…

…finding tasty things in amongst the leaves.

One of them then headed up the bank and lay snoozing in a patch of sunlight.

Here he is again, just waking up!

The other cub pottered off down the old path…

…before returning again for a last hello.

Then they both disappeared into their Earth.

All in all, I had watched them for twenty minutes or more. What a wonderful surprise that was! There was more to come, too, but we’ll save that for next time…

Enjoy your weekend.

Essi.