There is a family of foxes living in my neighborhood. A mother and six cubs, or pups, or whatever the proper term is. My neighbors are all atwitter about them. They post photos on the Homes Association website and describe them with terms like adorable and precious. My neighbors love our foxes. For the time being anyway. But mark my words, one day the worm will turn, and that day will not be long in coming.
Last weekend on the local news there was a story of another neighborhood across town that also has foxes in residence. At first, they too were enamored with their foxes. But then the pups grew up, and they weren’t so adorable anymore. One day a fox growled at a woman and her child. Another day a cat went missing. Finally, a fox attacked a small dog, who sadly did not survive. That was the final straw.
So the neighbors had a meeting, one I imagined as being similar to the scene in the movie Frankenstein when the townspeople turned against the monster, and with their torches alight and held high, they voted that the foxes had to go. First they called the Animal Control Department of our county, but there they found no help. Apparently our tax dollars don’t buy protection from wild animals, unless they are sick and a hazard to the public health. So at considerable expense, the villagers, I’m mean the neighbors, hired a professional critter catcher, and they await a happy outcome.
I, for one, will miss our foxes when the angry mob inevitably drives them away. My reasoning, like most of what I do, is practical. You see, for several years our neighborhood has been plagued with rabbits. They are the bane of my landscaping and my vegetable garden. But since the arrival of the foxes, there is a noticeable scarcity of rabbits, and I could not be happier. I can put up with a few fox shenanigans if the upside means no more rabbits. It is a small price to pay.
I only wish our foxes could climb trees, because our squirrels are out of control.