In my area, foxes have become like postmen. They dart into the front garden, sniff out some food and then pop into the house next door. People tend to dislike foxes for some reason, as if we are all farmers who have been wronged by these creatures. Leave them alone! If we hadn’t destroyed their home, they wouldn’t be wandering around the streets in the dark of night getting their heads stuck in little tubs.
That is exactly what happened to a poor fox which decided to explore my garden. I came back from college and walked into the kitchen to see my mum and brother standing by the kitchen window watching a fox which had its head buried inside a tub. The poor thing was stuck! Imagine a tub in which protein shakes usually come in and then you’ll be able to visualise this scene. It had been thrashing about for the past half-hour but now had given up and was completely still. Had it died? No, its body was rising with every breath it took.
My mum was terribly afraid of the fox and was on the phone to my aunt so the fear factor was intensified even further. However, I like foxes. Don’t ask me why, they just seem like a clever bunch who are just looking out for themselves. Perhaps I’ve been influenced by Roald Dahl alot. So I couldn’t stand to see the creature just lying there as if it had given up on life. My mum said wait for the RSPCA, as if a fox is their primary concern. My aunty was yelling down the line, just leave it!
I opened the garden door, wearing my new leather gloves and approached the still fox. Feeling slightly nervous and unsure about what to do, I knelt down beside it and saw it was well and truly stuck. Whatever oxygen was in that tub must be close to running out. Gingerly, I placed my hand on it and tried to pull the tub off its head which was like playing tug of war with a kid, I didn’t want to hurt the poor thing but had to do something! It wasn’t really working and my mum was shouting through the window as if the fox was about to jump up and bite me through the tub. I went back inside and watched it for a few minutes wondering what to do. I told my brother to come outside with me and help hold the fox down while I pull the tub off.
So attempt number two. I think it had realised that we were trying to help it so it didn’t move when I stroked its warm fur. I applied more pressure amidst my mum’s panicked incoherent yelling but she began to calm down when she took her phone out to video us. Slowly the tub was easing off the fox’s head and its neck was revealed. The fur was damp with blood and as the tub began to come off, I felt proud that I was actually going to save this poor animal. Yes, it was someone’s fault for leaving that container in the garden but how were they to know a nosy fox would come poking around?
As it came off, my mum was shouting at us to come inside so I thought I’d pull it off until it can shake it off and in that instant, jump back into the kitchen.
That didn’t work. I’d left it on a bit too tight so went back outside, told myself to be brave and pulled the tob off till it was just convering it’s nose and then made the mad dash into the kitchen to stop my mum having a heart attack.
If I was hoping for some magical moment between me and the fox, I was to be disappointed. It stood up slightly unsteadily, glanced around and with a flick of its tail leapt onto the fence and vanished from sight.
It was an amazing moment however, never before had I touched a fox and I was glad it had been okay.
My mum later told me she had not actually recorded my ‘heroic’ deed as she hadn’t pressed record.
Such is life.