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An incredibly lucky hour.

I live on the west of Sheffield in a fairly urban area. Our garden is designed for wildlife but it is in no way really any different to many others, it certainly is not massive. Over the last year or so we have been lucky to get the odd visit from two foxes, an older male and a young female.

I have been encouraging these with left-over’s like chicken and chop bones plus the odd stale Pain au chocolat (something I must admit I am addicted to. I am addicted to Jaffa cakes as well but far too much to share them with the foxes). I can’t put any food out in the day or the local maggies find it and hoover the lot up in minutes. If they don’t find it quickly the bain of my life, the local cats scoff it up!

So in the main I put the food out after dark, chase the first cat away and hopefully the foxes get a decent nibble. I have watched on a number of evenings and both foxes always turn up around 10.30 to 11. Occasionally though one wanders through the garden during the late afternoon. It may stay a few minutes and is usually not overly bothered about my presence and I sometimes manage a frame or two.

Last week however, I had the most fantastic experience. I was watching the box at teatime when I spotted the female loafing around in the garden. I grabbed the camera and crept out upon which she disappeared. I thought she was in some bushes so I lay down on a grassy path in the bottom of our garden (about 15 metres from the house). I could hear her creeping through the bushes so I lobbed out quarters of pork pie onto the path in front of me. She crept past me, I good see her in the bushes, and walked out and took a bit of pie. She then retreated behind the greenhouse.

I thought that would be that but in two minutes she walked back down the path towards me and scoffed up the rest of the pie pieces giving me an incredible few minutes before she popped back into the bushes. I really thought that would be the last I saw of her but ever the eternal optimist I legged it back into the kitchen and got a load more pie quarters and put them onto the path. I lay down again and she reappeared and stayed with me, often only a few metres in front of me for over an hour.

She wasn’t that hungry as she occasionally took a bit of pie and buried it in one of the flower beds. I was mesmerised by her, fur so silky, eyes bright, alert and intelligent yet fully aware and accepting of me. I was spell bound as she sat and had a good scratch and in the end she simply lay down, curled up and had a snooze only three metres in front of me.

What an experience, unplanned, unexpected and simply brilliant. I can’t concentrate on telly anymore as I am forever watching to see if she will repeat such a magical encounter. To date she still turns up every evening for a bit of dinner left over’s but I have not seen her in daylight again.