Friday, September 21, 2012

The tamest fox in the world

And then I was bitten by a fox.

You know how you plan out your week, and usually, it goes fairly well with only minor bumps along the way?  And sometimes you have other weeks where every effort at progress is thwarted and nothing goes according to plan?  By Wednesday it had been that kind of week.

Luckily, I have a sense of humor.

Monday and Tuesday were spent swimming upstream.  Figuratively, of course; it's far too cold for swimming just now.  Because we're juggling so many balls, both in homeschooling and as a family, I decided to put one of them down.  The pigeon.

In the midst of lining up a cat/rat sitter for an upcoming journey, we realized that the bird posed a bit of a problem.  Leaving the cats and the bird unsupervised in a room together for hours on end, even with metal bars between them, left us all feeling a bit uneasy.  So I made a few calls, and we decided to take our little pigeon to a wildlife rescue sanctuary.

In one sense, it feels awful to pawn the pigeon off on someone else, after all, it was my beast that attacked it.  I feel this overwhelming sense of responsibility.  On the other hand, I knew in my heart that it would have a better chance at a happy recovery surrounded by other wood pigeons instead of lurking cats.  So off we went.

The place was absolutely amazing, and the volunteer staff was fantastic.  I was happy to see that they had loads of pigeons.  They not only had pigeons, they were just short of a zoo.  They had so many different kinds of animals, it was astounding.  They had owls and parrots, ferrets and rabbits, snakes and lizards, ducks-- just wandering around.  There was even a tame doe walking about trying to set the reptiles free.  They even had foxes.  Tame foxes!

Or so I was told.

We love foxes.  We have some in our garden, and each time our motion lights click on at night we run to the back windows hoping for a glimpse of the foxes.  So you can imagine the excitement when we arrived at this place, and the man announces that we can pet a fox.  The tamest fox in the world.

The man went on to tell us how this fox was hand-raised by someone and subsequently dumped.  He took her in and loved her, and she has been just as sweet as can be, like a dog.  Apparently she's so tame that she has done loads of television and film work, so she's not only tame, she's a bit famous as well.

He brought her out and Einstein and the kids started to pet her.  I snapped a couple of pictures, and then reached my hand in to have a little pet.  And that's when she bit me.

Perhaps she thought I was paparazzi, and I should have asked her to sign a release form.

While a small pool of blood was welling up on my hand, the man continued to assure me that this particular fox was completely harmless.  Apparently she just plays a little rough, like the time she almost took off his nose.  It was a love nibble.  She rarely does that.

Which I suppose means that I'm one of the few... one of the painfully chosen ones.  What luck!

If you want to pretend you were there with me, this is what you saw:

And if you want to play a game of guess the owls, here they are:

Did you have a productive week?  Or did something unexpected happen?


  1. Oh no, I hope the fox didn't have rabies! I'm glad it didn't go for your nose (I still remember the broken nose from Switzerland)! I will show the owls to Jonathan, he is our bird expert.

    1. Thankfully, no rabies... at least that's what they told me. And yes, thankfully he didn't bite my nose, can you imagine?! I seem to be a magnet for random accidents.

  2. I thought exactly of what Eva said: rabies! I hope you're up on your rabies vaccine anyway, despite what they told you (since they also told you the fox was tame).

    Son 1 thinks that the top row of owls are Snowy Owl and Common Barn Owl. In the second row, he's not sure what the first photo is of (since he doesn't know his old world birds very well), but the second might be a Eurasian Eagle Owl? Will you tell us what they are? :)

    My week is, as usual, a blur. Got some stuff done, but mostly I have no idea where it went. Hope your bite isn't hurting anymore!

    1. Rabies was my first thought, too. However, everything I'm reading says we don't have rabies in the UK... I sure hope it's true! Of course I haven't had a rabies vaccine; I've never even thought about it, well since watching Old Yeller as a kid.

      For the owls, kudos to Son 1; he's right! Snowy owl, barn owl, tawny owls, and eagle owl. Sunburst was so excited to see the eagle owls (they had three of them), since they are her favorite.


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