… this morning I went out into my garden (small L-shaped plot, actually) to take this picture …
… because I just couldn’t help wondering how they survive in the frost. See here, some cyclamen tolerate frost very well, some not at all … not sure which mine is.
But before I could take the photograph, I heard a rushing-rummaging sound behind my hydrangea and then saw a huge cat, tiny bear, no … a fox. Which scrambled up the wooden fence and then turned and stared and stared at me. My knees went weak (with fear, I am a pavement child not a country cousin) and I was rooted to the spot. Afterwards I wished I’d taken its photograph, but my reactions were far too slow: my fear paralysing all thoughts and movements.
I am still shaking inwardly and wonder whether it’s because (a) I know nothing about foxes, particularly urban ones, so wondered what it planned to do to me? Was it summing me up for some nefarious purpose? And anyway it was broad daylight, so what a nerve it had … . Or, (b), was I really wondering what I would do to it … afraid that I wished it dead? Or (c), in the manner of the ancient sylvan tales, was I afraid that I would turn into a fox … see Stuck in a Book’s review of Lady into Fox by David Garnett here … and never return to tell the tale?
We are so used, us urbanites at least, to living in our environments without threat from or sight of any other wild living being (those of us who don’t live in warzones, I mean) that such an encounter simply paralyses. But when the fox disappeared over the fence into my neighbour’s garden I was relieved … out of sight, out of mind? Or at least out of danger (me).
A reminder that the boundaries are thin … in every sense. And food for a story, one day, I’m sure.