Reynard Fox

Christine Law

© Copyright 2021 by Christine Law

Photo by Linnea Sandbakk on Unsplash
               Photo by Linnea Sandbakk on Unsplash

When 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.

I 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.

To 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?

Life, 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.

Where 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.

Four 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  Jaws 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.

After 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.

I 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.

Times 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.

They 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.

Contact Christine

(Unless you type the author's name
in the subject line of the message
we won't know where to send it.)

Christine's story list and biography

Book Case

Home Page

The Preservation Foundation, Inc., A Nonprofit Book Publisher