Reynard the Errant. Part 2.
Last week we left John and Beatrix in their cottage in Kayakoy, surrounded by their long-term animal collection and now trying to cope with their newcomer, a young fox-cub who had invited herself into the home and had refused to leave.
Our friends are responsible people and soon after Foxy had moved in they did their internet research. They found several examples of folk who had adopted foxes and some quite lovely videos on Youtube. However, the consensus of opinion was that foxes deserve to be in the wild. Like all creatures their base instincts are first and foremost to hunt and eat and after that to breed. As John and Bea live in what is essentially a farming community, their little charge was also in grave danger of either being shot or poisoned. No good telling Kaya villagers that the fox won’t kill chickens if it’s well fed. Foxes kill chickens, let there be no argument; and foxes must be shot.
The couple went to see the chief of the National Parks division of The Forestry Authority; one of the best run and most powerful divisions of the Turkish Government. They sought to establish whether there was a programme for the rehabilitation into the wild for such animals. Regretfully there is not but the chief asked that they look after Foxy for a while and suggested a national park into which she might be loosed when mature enough. He was of the opinion that the age of two months might be reasonable but the internet suggested that six months was more like it; say mid -September.
Now Foxy is already on record as being the only Turkish fox to master the game of kitty-ping-pong and soon after her credentials had been presented to the forestry people she became [possibly] the only Turkish fox to have a passport, that was earned by suffering a car ride secured within a cat-basket [the indignity!] and by being very good whilst the vet Cezmi stuck a needle into her. She has been instructed to return annually for booster [rabies] shots but there seems some doubt that she will comply.
We now report in the present tense, for it is so. Her hunting record now includes a dozen or so rats and mice and a 45cm long snake. Interesting to note that the latter must have been still alive when brought home [“A present for you mummy!”] because it was discovered in the bathroom, dead but coiled around a detergent bottle. The foxes pin-sharp young teeth are rather duller now but the jaws which house them are noticeably stronger. John is seeking puttees. Foxy’s eyes, previously described as sorrowful are beginning to show something different, wisdom perhaps?
The fox spends most of the day sleeping in the bedroom WC which effectively makes it unusable for eight hours or so. She will usually rise in the early evening and eat at the same time as the cats. Raw chicken or liver are her favourites but she also likes fruit and vegetables. She drinks surprisingly little milk or water. After several hours of mischief around the house and after sunset she will go outside and hone her hunting and tunneling skills. Hunting neighbour’s shoes is good practice. As reported last week she is somewhat slow to return home in the morning and is often abroad for several hours of daylight, putting herself in grave danger of discovery.
Concerned readers may rest assured that the fox will eventually be released in the best possible location; a site to maximize her chances of meeting a mate, a site promising good hunting and a site safe from trigger happy humans. In the meanwhile be assured that Foxy is in very good and loving company and every night sleeps with a content smile on her lovely young face.
Written for Sun Express by Zaman’s “The Old Groaner”
“….foxes deserve to be in the wild”