THE FOX SIGHT SAGA
The saga continues with the cubs venturing out further from the nursery rock outside the den. If they survive the Hoodie [Grey] crows all will be well.
I had the house to myself [a rare treat] last Saturday and I made up a list of things I needed to get done. I resisted the temptation to go for a walk in the bitterly cold sunshine and after a business like breakfast, I brought the breakfast dishes over to the sink…and that is where the plans of yours truly, mice and fox cubs went astray.
It was eight o’clock in the morning and the sky was filled with big blooming white clouds, the Tall ships were in the Bay for the Bank Holiday week end and I stood watching them gracefully wheel about in a scene my grandfather must have taken for granted back in the early 1900’s as he brought his cows home for milking.
A sudden movement to the left caught my eye. There, stalking across the lawn with a purposeful stride was The Rebel, whom we have now decided to rename Reckless, duly followed by Cautious who tripped up over a cowslip or two along the way. Dash was further along, obviously heading out to the local golf club to help relieve them of surplus rabbits.
He paused for a bit of territory marking against my new rockery and snarled something at the cubs that sent Cautious scurrying home to Mamma. Reckless is made of sterner stuff. He turned away casually and wandered off to pounce upon a stick that needed killing instantly. Dash headed on up the hill along a much favoured and well-worn track. Pausing at the top to take stock of where the cubs were, it was engagingly funny to see his shoulders dip as he realised that Reckless was only a tussock away.
There would be no “rabbitting” that day – besides which the wind had shifted and become stronger. Foxes dislike strong winds, it makes it much harder to hear danger and to decipher which direction it is coming from. On such occasions they will remain in their den.
|"Escape to a Burrow" presented by|
Reluctantly Daddy Dash led the way back to the garden with Reckless attacking his brush. Miss Pretty [Mamma] and Dash have started their moult and they look tired and shabby at the moment.
Part of Dash’s tail was damaged in a fight last autumn. He took grave exception to an In-comer dog fox who thought he’d try his luck with Miss Pretty. In the course of a noisy and vicious fight Dash’s tail was bitten near the tip and nerve damage obviously ensued. The fur fell off the tail from the bite downwards and he looked as if his brush was mangy for most of the winter.
I took a seat, just for a few minutes to watch the Dash family play pounce and chase and drag an old bag [that had blown into the garden] around the lawn. Suddenly Baron Von Rich-Beaking and his crew woke up in the pine trees next door and decided that fox fun was not to be tolerated. Spoil sports to a feather, all nine of them took flight and headed into our garden.
What happened next was no doubt irritating for the O’Dash family, but hilarious in its own way to watch. One by one the crows dive bombed down across the foxes. Miss Pretty quickly herded C & R back towards the den. A troublesome task with Reckless fully determined to assist Daddy. Dash had stayed behind and turned to face the squawking mob. Rising to his hind paws he narrowly missed taking out Herr Von Grubby-Beak.
|Dash heading off about his business|
By this stage the Baron and his boys had called up the reserves and we now had 14 grey crows harassing our beloved Dash. Backing slowly across the lawn and keeping one eye on Miss Pretty’s progress with the cubs and Reckless’ attempts to come to the aid of his father, Dash held the lot of them off.
I could take no more, Dash is a firm family favourite and although I prefer to let nature take its course, I stood up, opened the window and shouted as loudly as I could. Distracted by the noise the crows nearly flew into each other. Dash, no sloth when it comes to taking advantage of situations, turned and ran towards Reckless. Nipping gently at his tail, he chased the cub back to the Den at the bottom of the garden and to safety.
For a full hour after, discruntled Hoodies flew in low across the garden and landed on our roof. As I went about my housework, I could hear the heavy thumping on the roof as they hopped across. Crows are highly intelligent, and are not above revenge tactics. Mme. Pounce, crossing through the veg patch later in the day, complete with freshly killed baby Robin, lost her catch when Von Beak-Squawking and Co., decided to dive bomb her.
|Mme. P rules the Home Front|
Ah, but she’s a cunning cat; calmly picking up her catch again, she walked into the shrubbery and out the other side into her house.
|Mrs Robin looking for Baby|
Her usual affectionate relationship with Himself is somewhat strained at the moment. Baby Robin had taken to gardening with him, landing on his boot, sitting on his lawn mower. However, the cunning tail-flicking feline will woo him back again no doubt.
|Dreaming dreams of fresh Robin.|