Fox In a Park

Nate Reason, age 16

Unfortunately the fox in Rowntree Park can not write. You see, their paws are too big for a keyboard and too furry to hold a pencil. So when the fox met me I came up with the idea that I should write it all down for them. So we set a date for last week and I brought fish fingers and the fox brought me a slightly slobbery note pad and pen. So that’s enough from me, the human, I will let the fox introduce themself.

I was born in London. Where there was always enough food to go round, but small fights led to food shortages. Fortunately for me, my mother was always quick to smuggle food away under the noses of the other foxes. Tragically, when I was a young cub, she disappeared while hunting in Kensington Gardens. A young fox in this position would have no clue what to do and maybe wouldn’t survive even just a week. I remember those first five days when she didn’t come back. It rained every single one of them. On the sixth though I remember so clearly I was jumping over a wall when a human cub was pressed up against a window staring at me, drool all over the glass. She intrigued me greatly and almost looked the same age as me too. I cocked my head to the side and stared back at the delighted child. I think she started calling because soon two much bigger adults came in and started talking to the young human. Opening the door a crack, a hand reached out and placed a bowl on the ground and quickly withdrew. I waited for them to leave, of course my mum always said that humans were intensely frightened of even the smallest of foxes. I approached the bowl greedly, my stomach thinking instead of my head. I came back there every single day. Some nights I would even sleep in the garden. The small girl would always be there watching. One day though, the door was left open and the daughter was sat by the bowl, beckoning me. Not threatened, only slightly surprised, I trod over and started eating the scraps of meat. The girl looked at me wide eyed in wonder. A small pudgy hand outstretched and started stroking my fur. I hadn’t had another living thing touch me in so long. To my own surprise, I liked it.

I think the adults weren’t the best of parents. Letting a fox sleep in a human child’s room doesn’t seem  like a completely sane decision. The family was very energetic, especially for humans who I normally see driving around in cars and not using their two legs. The daughter I liked the most by far, she was like a fox herself in a human body. Three years later and I loved her, she cared for me every day but snuck away to movies and school all the time. I could tell the parents weren’t happy  together. The girl took me away to her room mostly so I couldn’t hear them. She would talk to me and stroke my head so I couldn’t hear it.

I went in a car with the daughter and one of the parents. No one talked the whole time. I curled up on the little girl’s lap and tried to fall asleep. We ended up at a different house. I think it was the parents’ mother who greeted us because like an old fox she was creaky and grey. I went out a lot more here. There were less tall buildings and more trees to run around in. I never saw the other parent, maybe they went off to have more cubs. Eventually I found a big open space with a pond and some small buildings, and when the daughter was out I went there and explored every part of it. Another year passed and I learned that this place was York,  and the open space with the pond was Rowntree Park. One day, neither the daughter or the parent came back to the house. One night I came back and the flap in the door was also gone. So I made my home in the park. Going back to the wild is such a change for a fox. Most foxes in the wild only live for 1 to 3 years. It was very hard at the start. Soon I managed to organise everything and my only real threat was dog walkers coming too close. I wish to see the girl again. I hope one day she will walk through the park too. I have decided that I will stay here until she does.

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