I first moved
from the Midlands to Essex, I was surprised to find how friendly the
foxes had become. They would take it upon themselves to follow you
along the streets like tame dogs sometimes during the day and mostly
at night. People accepted this has the norm. You never heard of a fox
attacking a child or breaking into anyone’s home uninvited.
suppose one of the reasons the foxes had become so friendly could be
down to. More houses being built so the fox had decided, to enter out
into suburbia. One fox in particular would follow, to the entrance of
my flat. He would not enter the building. At night I always felt that
he was looking out for me. I thought of him has, Reynard. The name
had come from a novel I had read, as a small child.
me the name Reynard conjured up romance. Of my fine gentleman always
there to escort whether it be a Summer evening or cool blustery
night. No doubt Reynard had others who he saw on their way. Age
wise I wasn’t sure? Obliviously Reynard had road sense and
knowledge of the area. He must have lived local although in the three
years that I knew him I never got to find out. I imagined him with a
litter of little ones, a good reliable father with a vixen for
company. He kept his personal life private. It was easy to conjure
up the idea that in the view of the car park and fluorescent lighting
he would turn up one evening to introduce his family. This never
happened, one could dream?
progressed I met new friends through single clubs in London and
Benfleet Essex, where I lived. Making progress in my work has a Live
in Carer later to work in London, still keeping on my flat in Essex.
If Reynard ever wondered about when I wasn’t there to greet and
share his company, is a mystery. He always knew if the lights were
on, I was at home. He would lurk behind a bush or suddenly I would
see his shadow in the lamp light.
I lived in
Benfleet Essex, the bin area with the bins stood away from the flats.
Inside there stood half a dozen large commercial sized bins for the
flats. Every resident had their own key to the bin area. The bin men
emptied the bins weekly. You knew when they were about by the noise
of the truck as they drove off. When I did not see Reynard for a few
evenings I did wonder about him. He was old enough and wise enough to
protect himself. he had not proved this time and time again, dodging
traffic over the three years that I had known him? Putting worry
behind, I concentrated on other things my work, visits to the
library, food shopping and cleaning etc.
days later a
crowd had gathered outside the bin area. A police car drew up by the
bin area. Thinking Oh, dear I approached bin area. Standing outside
with everyone else. Inside with
barred, there stood Reynard. Looking twice his natural size, with
glaring wild eyes. Had someone disturbed him? With no recognition, I
had become a stranger to him. People seemed to think that he had been
accidently locked in with the bins for some time. Getting himself
worked up into a frenzy. Scattered on the floor close by him were an
assemble of tins and garbage, a mess to be cleared up. The Police did
not wish to challenge him. A local vet that the police used arrived.
a while after
being given a tranquiliser dart, a traumatised Reynard had been taken
away by the vet. I hoped that he would be set free, reunited with his
family. Hard to believe the anger he had shown. Had he picked up
Rabies and gone there to hide? Memories and ideas have crowded my
mind over the years. You see it in films man at peace with nature and
the wild. When you have personal experience of this, it is different.
. After the incident people had gone about their business the bin
area had be cleaned and disinfected left with nothing out of place.
had let Reynard become too much a part of my life. Taking him for
granted, looking forward to his visits. Over the years there were
other encounters with the foxes guiding my way. Reynard will always
be one of life’s mysteries. Did he have Rabies, if so, how did
he get it? Scared alone being locked in captivity had this brought
about his rage? There had to be more to it? Surely his best option
would have been to stay silent till help arrived, rather than work
himself into a frenzy. Answers I will never know. Ten years on I saw
your competition listed in the Ms lexia Magazine bringing back bitter
sweet memories of Reynard.
change memories and experiences widen our view on life. Nature has
always been of interest now retired this helps with my inspiration to
write short stories and poetry. These are seen occasionally in print
along with everyone else’s. My meetings with Reynard are true. Not
something that just flew out of the sky. Optimistically it will
give an insight to an urban way of life.
always say, has one door closes another open’s, at present I
enjoy watching grey squirrels perform in the trees, flowers bloom,
the trees are green once more. A lover of the natural world my
enjoyment is walking a neighbours Jack Russel Terrier. Looking,
watching out for topics to write about. Putting words down with
meaning to progress in the right order and text. To give meaning and
insight. My experience with Reynard both interesting, traumatic and
most of all a worthy experience shall we say of nature and fate. Who
knows? Imagining that look his walk, the shock of our last meeting on
this note I must end.
of the message
won't know where to send it.)
Christine's story list and biography
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