Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The fox

I lived in a cottage in the heart of rural England for two years – a wonderful place surrounded by trees and wildlife. The deer would come and eat the fallen apples in our garden and the gooseberries from the bushes, owls hooted at night and once an otter strolled up our path, stopped for a long look at my youngest daughter and myself, then continued on its journey. Apart from the cottage, I’ve lived in semi-rural Lancashire for twenty years and, before that, rural Suffolk, Cornwall and Devon. Yet I never saw a fox.

A few days ago, my wife and I went to London to join the hurly-burly for a weekend of concrete, pollution and noise. Unable to sleep, I got up at dawn and went for a wander around the leafy suburb in which our hotel proudly stood. I hadn’t taken ten steps from the hotel door and there it was. A fox, sitting and staring calmly from the middle of the road like it had been waiting for me for all my fifty-five years.

My one and only glimpse of a fox. And it took the great, roaring, chaotic city to give it to me.

No comments: