True gripes : Basil, please brush off
Urban foxes are a pain. Who needs them?
Monday 27 March 1995
For a start, they bark in the dead of night and frighten the cat. No sooner have I put it out than it comes charging back in through the cat- flap with its tail all fluffed up. It refuses to go out on its own again and I end up having to accompany it outside before I can go to bed. Most inconvenient.
Worse, urban foxes are forever ransacking dustbins. This can cause undue stress. The first time I found rubbish strewn all over the place I thought, "Oh no! I've got homeless people living outside."
But the upended bin turned out to be the work of an urban fox. I passed him in the street the following night on my way home from the pub. The cheeky sod trotted past as if he owned the place. Now he is fully settled in and even seems to know which day the dustmen come round.
Where did all these foxes come from? There must be some terrible things going on out in the country for them to risk the inner cities. I suppose that the miles and miles of now barely used railway line must be the most favoured route. I read recently that the appearance of foxes is a good thing because it indicates the "greening of the cities", but I'm not so sure. The bits that turn green are usually plots of land that have been abandoned and become overgrown. They are full of foxes because no one else has a proper use for them. Urban wasteland.
I don't think my mother would see it as a good thing either. Not since she lost her ducklings. My mother has always had this thing about ducks, so she bought six ducklings and called them Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich. I think the idea was that when they grew up they would graze on the lawn and keep the grass short. They used to splash around a tub of water in the garden. Until a fox came in the night. What carnage. The only survivor was Beaky. I tried to take my mother's mind off the tragedy. "Ducks don't have beaks, they have bills," I pointed out. "Why don't you change his name to Billy?"
Well, I thought it was a good idea.
MusicThe band accidentally called Londoners the C-word
Film 'I've never been comfortable on-screen', she says
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 'Kidnapped boy may have been abused and murdered by VIP paedophile ring,' say police
- 2 Ridley Scott on Exodus, Gods and Kings casting: 'I'm not going to get it financed if my lead actor is Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such'
- 3 Girl, 7, gets Tesco to remove 'stupid' sign suggesting superheroes are 'for boys'
- 4 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
- 5 'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
I'm A Celebrity 2014: Jungle security stepped up after murder and 'suspicious death' close to camp
This house and dental clinic 'piled up like bricks on the brink of collapsing' is why Japan wins at architecture
Ridley Scott on Exodus, Gods and Kings casting: 'I'm not going to get it financed if my lead actor is Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such'
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Exclusive: UK approved £7m Israeli arms sales in six months before Gaza conflict