We had a fox in our backyard yesterday.

We’d seen a couple of them last week, scampering around back there for a few minutes. One of them was walking along the top of the wooden fence that rings the yard, just as our neighbors’ cat does. It seemed unsure of quite how to get down, but eventually just took the plunge, alighting nimbly on the ground. The two of them exited by squeezing under a loose fence-board.

Yesterday’s was different. It was alone, and laying down, right in the middle of the grassy (more or less) portion of the yard. It seemed cute at first, but we felt more troubled as it just lay there. Foxes aren’t nocturnal; they’re most active at dawn and dusk, the internet informed us. So it wasn’t as odd as we’d first thought, but still seemed weird.

What if it’s hurt?, we wondered. Hit by a car, or shot by some fool, or who knows what? Should we call someone, and if so, who? Searches for “wildlife rescue” followed the earlier ones about fox habits. The fox rolled over and shifted position a couple of times, but otherwise didn’t move. This went on, our worries mounting, the fox sleeping, for more than an hour.

Finally, it stood up, and walked leisurely – and with no trouble that I could see – to a spot in the horse herb we’ve let grow longer. It chilled there for a while, got up again, strolled to the patio to get a drink from a bucket we collect rainwater in, and then slipped under the fence again.

Until next time, little buddy.

Fox in backyard