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The Fox and Tramp

The fox nosed through the rubbish drifting against the scrubby hedge, lifting its head occasionally to sniff cautiously at the air. A steady breeze rippled through the long grass of the field, scattering dandelion seeds and confusing the scavenging magpies.

The rubbish stirred, moved from beneath, startling the fox into a hasty retreat. Newspaper pages, stained by the elements and unmentionable substances, cascaded down with crumpled carrier bags and assorted cardboard. A hand, clad in an unravelling fingerless glove, appeared at the top, snatching at the debris and casting it aside.

In one huge effort, a man pulled himself from beneath the pile, rolling painfully onto his knees before pushing himself upright with a prolonged and agonised groan. He brushed scraps from the remnants of his overcoat and squinted around the field as though unsure how he had come to be there.

The magpies, initially perturbed by the unexpected activity, settled once more to their scavenging, though the fox had vanished, slipping unnoticed through the thick hornbeam hedge on the other side of the field.

The man rubbed distractedly at his hair, then tugged a knitted hat from the torn pocket of his overcoat and spent some time adjusting it on his head. Satisfied with his attire, he turned and hobbled towards the country lane that ran alongside the field.

The rubbish settled once more, clustering in untidy heaps, snagged by brambles. The breeze blew, and the magpies squabbled with curious crows. Overhead a buzzard circled on a thermal, its call to its mate a haunting cry across the deserted fields.

The fox poked its nose out from beneath the hedge, sniffing and searching, then quickly slipped into the long grass and trotted back across the field towards the rubbish, disturbing the birds as it passed. It paused several feet away, forepaw raised as it scanned for danger, then edged closer, closer, muscles bunched ready to flee. When no danger presented, it slunk the remaining distance and began foraging once more.

The man smiled from his vantage on the stile. He pulled half a sausage roll from a paper bag and chewed on it contentedly as he watched the fox sniff out the other half. It was true what they said, food always tasted better when shared.


© 2011 Kay Lawrence.

line mother-in-law
5th October 2011

That gave me a smile,would have never thought to share the roll with a fox.! Glad he did tho.

line mum
10th November 2011

Love it-always wanted to go over the road and give the fox a helping hand when the hunt was after him!


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