TALKING OF FOXES ...

TALKING OF FOXES ...

153 days ago

Talking of foxes reminds me of the scene in Stone Arrows where Zeta tells us how she came to own Kuba, her pet wolf. I come from a farming family and spent a lot of my childhood in fields and woods. Zeta's life was based on those memories and on my love of Nature.  I'm not sure I'd have been as brave as Zeta if I'd lived so long ago, but as she says to her brother Finn, you don't know until you're faced with a dangerous situation.  The farm was always full of dogs, puppies, ferrets (My brother's - I didn't like them - they smelled and bit!), horses, a donkey, a pet jackdaw, a pet Jersey calf and lots of chickens. The most unusual pet I ever owned was a fox!  One day my father brought one home - a tiny, grey fox cub with its eyes still closed, so it was under ten days old.  Her mother had been killed by the hunt. 'Here you are,' Dad said, handing me the wriggling little mass of fur, 'Feed it!'. And so I did with a bottle and a tiny rubber teat. Vicky grew and grew.  Her tail (or brush as it's called) became long and fluffy and her coat turned a deep red. She had a white flash under her chin and very sharp teeth like needles.  You could easily be nipped when playing with her. But I taught her to walk on a lead and rollover. I loved her even though she did smell a lot sometimes! Dad shot rabbits, pheasants and pigeons which she crunched up in minutes. But one night, when she was fully grown, she began to bark and howl. I looked out of the bedroom window and saw that she'd escaped from the stable and was killing some of my favourite silkie chickens!  The call of the wild was too strong and she'd decided to hunt for her own food and it was time to seek out her own kind.  I never saw her again, just as, in Stone Arrows, Zeta never saw Kuba again. That was the inspiration for the wolf, Kuba, in my story.  Foxes are quite wolf-like so it was easy for me to write about them. I'm going to add further blogs about other scenes in Stone Arrows - what inspired me and more ideas about how I write.