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Urban foxes arrive for a meal

The white rolls were spread carefully in a circle and on top were placed the crispy pieces of chicken and corned beef. The woman sat quietly under the trees waiting for the little faces to appear. She could hear the sea crashing on the rocks below as if in anger at the impending winter.

She sat quietly listening to the sound of trees blowing in the strong wind, shedding their leaves and sending masses of gold to the ground. The combined noise of the sea and the trees had a tranquillity about it.

And then she heard it, that special crunching - the gentle noise of little paws carefully picking their way through the masses of leaves. They knew exactly where they were going and what was going to be there for them. Silently, the little shrubs parted and there appeared three tiny faces, looking carefully around. Was it okay to come out? The smell of the crispy chicken overwhelmed any fear.

They approached the rolls, taking a bit and then jumping back as if the rolls were going to bite them. Behind them stood the vixen who was more cautious than they. She looked on disapprovingly at their antics. This jumping around the food, playfully pushing each other out of the way, went on for hours. Three beautiful foxes with the vixen who faithfully came to her garden every night.

Two of the little ones were a pale grey, the other was a lovely bright red with a little white under his chin and the vixen was a paler red. She sometimes appeared tired from watching them, as they ate and chased one another until there was not a crumb left.

As the sea crashes on the rocks below, the woman watches the adorable little animals (so often misunderstood by some humans) and wonders if other people would be as kind to them as she? All these foxes need is a little kindness. Is that too much to ask?

T O'Brien

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