Saturday, 7 May 2011

Fantastic Mr Fox

Yesterday, when I went in the garden the hens were out of their enclosure, digging holes, throwing soil everywhere, generally wrecking all the new planting, as they do. 
I chased them back in and spotted how they'd escaped - a hole under the wire fence, and the unmistakable stink of fox. 
Foxes are lovely animals but we'll have to be vigilant now. The menfolk are saving their urine to sprinkle round the perimeter of the hen run. Old wives' tale or reliable deterrent? 
Who knows? We haven't seen a fox in the garden for a couple of years, but now we need to be on the lookout.

The Thought Fox
I imagine this midnight moment's forest:
Something else is alive
Beside the clock's loneliness
And this blank page where my fingers move.

Through the window I see no star:
Something more near
Though deeper within darkness
Is entering the loneliness:

Cold, delicately as the dark snow
A fox's nose touches twig, leaf;
Two eyes serve a movement, that now
And again now, and now, and now

Sets neat prints into the snow
Between trees, and warily a lame
Shadow lags by stump and in hollow
Of a body that is bold to come

Across clearings, an eye,
A widening deepening greenness,
Brilliantly, concentratedly,
Coming about its own business

Till, with a sudden sharp hot stink of fox
It enters the dark hole of the head.
The window is starless still; the clock ticks,
The page is printed.

Ted Hughes, 1957

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