Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Close Call with a Fox

The fox Adam saw is a brighter red, and showed even more teeth

Normally, as we complete our work on the farm, which consists of feeding or moving animals, moving feed, fixing animal housing, mowing or trimming something, we carry handguns on holsters. Sometimes a long gun is impractical when you are moving back and forth and doing things. While wearing a weapon on a belt, one can go a year at a time without having to draw one, and sometimes we feel silly for going to the trouble to strap on the holster when our task in such an idyllic looking place, is a short one. Yesterday, our son Adam was out of town for the day, and returned at dusk. He has a cat which lives in one of the barns that he feeds and places indoors at about dusk or often earlier. Her name is Brielle. Yesterday Adam didn't strap on his weapon as he was still dressed from his day out, and he proceeded to water and feed Brielle. He couldn't find her, and it was getting to be dusk. He looked around and finally located her crouched down in brush. Then he saw why. A large red fox had been stalking our chickens, and Brielle, who for a beautiful cat, is a hunter and defender of the first order, was interfering with his plan. As Adam stood between Brielle and the fox, the fox growled, showed teeth and prepared to attack those he considered in HIS territory. This is when it would have been nice to have a handgun. A fox who challenges a human being in his territory may be rabid or simply too aggressive for his own good and certainly for ours. The standoff continued for a few moments. Just then, as the sky gradually darkened, Adam's maglite blinked off. Of all the times to have a bright light failing ! He couldn't get it to go on again. With that, he shouted, "Brielle, to the barn !" and he threw the mag-lite with all his might at the fox hitting it. Brielle is safe for now in the barn. The fox ran away. The mag-lite is broken. We will need to buy another today. Most importantly, we need to make sure that we are armed each time we perform even the simplest of tasks on the farm. Getting attacked by a fox would necessitate a series of expensive and potentially hazardous rabies prevention shots. This is something we would all like to avoid.   I remember Daniel helping to clear this area where the fox is now, by hand with his brothers, in 2008.  I am relieved that the fox wasn't there then.

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