I warn you now. If you aren't a fan of rants... stop reading. Cos this post is going to be one LONG rant about my new arch enemy.
When I was younger, we used to occasionally spot a fox darting across the garden. One of us would yell, everyone would run to the window and appropriate "oohs", "aahs" and "did you see it('s)?" would ensue.
Unfortunately, the wonder of the fox is now lost on me.
They are taking over.
They roam the streets in broad daylight, wake me up nightly as they rummage through the neighbour's bins and fight over empty doughnut bags, scream and wake my daughter, and have even been known to peer through our patio doors while we're eating our dinner.
A few weeks ago, I was walking up to church for our Friday Mums and Tots group, and wheeled Ava round the back in her buggy, as she was asleep, to park her up outside the chapel window while I went in to help set up. I turned the corner, and there was a fox, sitting across the middle of the path and blocking the way. In a bizarre way, I was thankful to God that he was sitting in such a prominent place. I promptly took Ava round the front of the building and inside and, of course, she frustratingly woke up as she hit the wall of sound upon entry, but at least I hadn't left her sleeping outside with a fox that didn't seem to be afraid of anyone.
Don't get me wrong... I understand all this "protect the animals" thing that motivated the whole ban on fox hunts. I am an animal lover (even cats are growing on me now my daughter's taken such a shine to them) but seriously...? What are we supposed to do? I daren't leave my daughter to sleep in the garden anymore, I spent two months of that boiling hot weather in the spring not even wanting to BE in my garden because there was an injured fox camping out in the neighbourhood...
The fact is, they're multiplying. My next door neighbour was the unfortunate recipient of one of my fox rants this morning, and she informed me that she'd spotted four new baby foxes around. They are growing in number, and they're getting more and more comfortable being in our presence. I can no longer say to my children "They are more scared of you than you are of them"... truth is, they're not. They stare you out. They watch you.
So, any suggestions would be most welcome. Suburbia is being taken over by mangy, red-haired, bin-feasters and they are doing my head in.