Although I live in London, Foxes are a regular visitor to my garden, and it’s fascinating to watch them and identify their different characters. Recently it looked as if one couple had had an argument, so perhaps this is a true story. 😀
Typical male, finds a good thing and wants to keep it to himself. Never mind the poor female, trying to make something decent of the ramshackle home he found, and looking after the kids while he goes out on the town.
Food was scarce enough now the winter was setting in, but did he worry, oh no.
‘I’ve told you a million times, this roof leaks. When are you going to get something to repair it? Even if it’s risky to go out during the day you could do something about it instead of wandering off every night, up to who knows what. AND you’re getting fat. Never mind I have to go without to put something in the children’s mouths. If I left it to you we’d all starve to death.’
‘Stop complaining bitch. You were eager enough a couple of months ago when I picked you out as my mate. Anyone would think that was the fastest you could run if you hadn’t wanted to be caught.’
‘That’s another thing. Those females at the end of the road are no better than they should be. I’ve seen them eyeing you up, but do you ever let them know you’re spoken for? No. You just strut your stuff, and pretend you’re Jack of the Walk. Never a hint you’ve already got a family to take care of. Don’t think I haven’t heard you with them in the early hours; all that screaming and teasing, it’s a wonder the neighbours don’t come and throw us out.’
‘You fuss too much. All I hear from you these days is nagging. It’s no wonder I need to get away now and then for a bit of fun. You were never like this when we first got together.’
‘What do you expect? I left my family and decent lodgings to go with you. So much for your assurances. Where are all the enticing meals you promised me? the luxurious home, somewhere soft and comfortable to sleep, plenty of food and playtime very night? You said you knew all the best places to eat, and would keep me warm and secure, not confined to a dirty, smelly shelter under the trees, with four scrawny kids to feed. You won’t even let us snuggle up under that luxurious fur you’ve got, to try and keep warm. Oh no, it’s left to me with this flea-bitten thing that won’t even cover me, let alone five of us.
‘Mum was right. Despite the dangers I should have stayed in the country, not let you drag me off to the suburbs, living off the scraps people throw away. And you know how much I hate dogs. Where I lived before at least I had a chance to run and escape them, here they’re everywhere. I’m scared, but you’re never around to protect me.’
Rosie turned to find she was talking to herself as usual. Chico had disappeared off on his nightly jaunts, getting up to who knows what. Well this time it would be different. The kids were getting bigger now, and although she was a good Mum, it was about time they learnt to fend for themselves. She wouldn’t always be around, any more than their no-good father.
With a final glance round to check the youngsters were alright, she set off to follow his trail. His scent was easy enough to pick up as she pushed through the undergrowth, over the wall, down the conveniently placed ladder by the garden shed, keeping to the shadows so as not to be seen. The sudden barking of a dog from somewhere inside the house made her freeze, perhaps this was not such a good idea after all. She stayed shivering, hidden behind the bushes until all was quiet again, and then taking her chance sprinted across the lawn, over the gate and into the alley beyond. Where was he?
The passageway emerged into a road, full of parked cars, and the sudden glare of headlights blinded her as she turned the corner. Luckily it didn’t stop, but it made her wonder how Chico faced these dangers every night. What was so important as to make him venture out?
A sudden racket from further along drew her attention. She recognised both her husband’s voice and the high-pitched squeals of another female. Confrontation time. She just caught a glimpse of Chico scaling a garden fence, then stopped in amazement as he walked without any hesitation right up to a conservatory door. It was closed, but within a minute a light came on and a tall shadow emerged.
‘Hello Chico,’ a soft voice called through the gloom. ‘You’re a bit late tonight. I was beginning to think you weren’t coming. I’ve got one of your favourites, chicken legs. Only supermarket frozen I’m afraid, but we’re having fresh roast chicken on Sunday if you want to pop by then.’
Without hesitation Chico began devouring the food held out to him, seeming totally unalarmed at the close presence of the woman. He didn’t even flinch when the bright light of a camera flashed as she took a photo to add to her collection.
Although initially she had stayed well back, Rosie now edged forward slightly, intrigued by the smell of the chicken, and the casual way Chico treated its provider.
‘Hello,’ said the voice, ‘who do we have here then? Good evening. You must be Rosie. I’m honoured Chico decided to introduce his wife. Hold on a minute while I get some dinner for you. It doesn’t look as if he’s going to share.’
Chico glanced round, but carried on eating, unsurprised at Rosie’s presence. Sensing she wasn’t as confident in approaching, the lady threw a piece of chicken to land just in front of her feet. After a moment’s hesitation Rosie devoured it with relish, then licked her lips at the satisfying meal.
‘I’m pleased you enjoyed it,’ the woman said. ‘Do come again. Wait a minute, I think you’ve got some little ones at home, haven’t you?’
With that she went back inside and returned with four more pieces, which she threw up to Rosie. Picking two of them up in her mouth the vixen went to retrace her steps to go home and feed her family, assuming Chico would devour the rest before she could return. Not so.
A sudden loud clapping noise made her jump.
‘No Chico. You’ve had your share. That’s for the kids. It’s about time you grew up and took some responsibility for your family,’ she said as she wandered up the garden and picked up the other two pieces. ‘I’m saving these until Rosie comes back. Now off you go and behave. I’ll see you tomorrow.’
Rosie smiled. Nothing like a bit of girl power to keep these boys in order.
© Voinks October 2017
Books by Voinks