My best friend, Widdle (3)

Widdle was extremely photogenic, and didn’t he know it! Mind you, he does have such beautiful soft eyes……..

In the days when he had a wife and cubs to support, Widdle did his very best to be the perfect husband and the perfect Dad, but that didn’t mean that he never felt tired. Indeed he had a number of different places that he would use for a rest, and if it was sunny and warm, then so much the better.

If we weren’t at home when he came to call, he would graciously sit quietly and wait for us. Sometimes, he would get nice and comfortable in a large empty planter. Our garden is on two levels, and directly behind the planter there was a fifteen foot drop. It didn’t bother him, though. Widdle never seemed to have any fear of heights…….

When we went to say hello and to ask him what kind of a day he was having, Widdle wasn’t ever frightened.  He liked that lofty perch,  even though he was sitting with his back to any potential attackers. What he saw as the biggest plus point of that planter was the fact that he could immediately spot us as we emerged from the house with his sausages……

On other occasions he would sit like a dog, making sure that there were no rival male foxes on the lawn some twenty feet below:

At other times he seemed very cautious and preferred to sit in the foliage:

Occasionally, he would have his attention drawn by a noise he didn’t recognise:

His proudest moment, however, came when he showed off his new winter coat:

His fur was always at its most luxuriant in the winter, whehn he needed the extra warmth, of course. In summer, he would moult his coat and go around looking a lot more grey than red, and overall, extremely tatty. Picture 4 above illustrates the Punk Fox look perfectly, as does the one below…..

In this photograph Widdle is a little more advanced in his moult, and the grey tones to his fur are really obvious. This picture dates from a different day to Photograph 4, when he spent a sunny warm afternoon in the planter, and woke up so stiff that he needed a good stretch before he could even think of eating.

Having said that, just a few minutes warming up, and he was soon ready for his favourite food…….




Filed under Humour, Nottingham, Personal, Widdle, Wildlife and Nature

22 responses to “My best friend, Widdle (3)

  1. What an absolute privilege to have such a visitor. And how confident must he have been in you. This has been a wonderful story and I thank you most sincerely.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it so much. We too thought it was a privilege to have known Widdle and to have watched how he cared for his family. It made me realise that there is something present in wild things, and we don’t have it, or else it has been lost long ago.

  2. I’ve been at the stove for a while and made chicken soup and the whole while I have been thinking of the Widdle series so I had to come back to tell you that this is one of the absolute delights of all my blogging time. Your stories of the men who died during the war is important and cannot be denied. But your relationship with this wild animal is really something to keep forever.

  3. Chris Waller

    Absolutely remarkable! It just amazes me how he has adjusted to urban life and the human presence. He is clearly perfectly at ease in your garden. Mind you, a constant supply of sausage must be an inducement.

    • Widdle seemed to be at home with human beings that he had learned to trust. Our belief was that he could detect whether we had any nastiness in our hearts, decided that we hadn’t, and was then able to regress to his childhood where his parents provided food all the time. We never denied him food if he came to the house,and I think that that was very important to him.

  4. Another episode in this wonderful story

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it, Derrick. Foxes are very much persecuted by so many people, but neither Widdle nor his many cubs ever did any damage to the house or the garden, and he was aalways a perfect guest.

  5. GP

    How wonderful to have had such a friend from the wild. You must miss him.

    • Yes, I do, but most wild foxes have very short lives and we helped him to live until he was at last five years old, a decent age for a fox. But that doesn’t stop me missing him.

  6. Another wonderful episode John. I was going to ask about his grey colour, I didn’t know if it was an age thing or not, but you beat me to it and answered the question for me! I don’t realise they moulted this way!

    • Yes, I think the moult is a two way process. As the weather got warmer, he lost his winter coat, and then spent the summer in a grey fur which was not particularly thick. As the cold returned he then acquired the familiar red coat. As you will see in the future,the cubs are a uniform pale brown colour and look quite different from adults, as well as their size.

  7. So, you are a closet Leicester City fan?

    • Not really, although Leicester being champions was the best thing that ever happened in the Premier League.
      Similar things will be equally rare.
      I can actually remember Burnley as Division 1 champions along with Ipswich and Derby twice in four years, the latter an eveny which a boy in one of my classes refused point blank to believe.

  8. I love the photo (3) of Widdle in the planter. He’s quite at home in your backyard. What a luxurious red coat! I had no idea that their coat moulted in the summer.

    • Yes, that thick winter fur has to be shed, otherwise he would overheat in the summer months. Dogs cannot sweat and presumably, neither can foxes, so it’s very important not to retain that thick red fur. Widdle was very much at home in our garden and on the patio. On occasion, he came into the house and, as he was extremely intelligent, he soon learnt where the sausages were kept, and would often stand next to the fridge until we worked out the reason for his visit.

  9. Such good photos. Though we remember such moments in life, it is nice to have photos too.

    • Yes. I very much regret not having a camera in the Soviet Union in 1969 or in France in 1976 when the drought was such that rivers ran dry. Cameras were too expensive for me at the time.

  10. Thank you for sharing the adventures of you and Widdle!!.. the fact that Widdle accepted you as part of his family gives testament to the caring and loving person that you are!!… 🙂

    Until we meet again..
    May your troubles be less
    Your blessings be more
    And nothing but happiness
    Come through your door
    (Irish Saying)

    • I’m sorry for the delay in replying to you. THe WordPress email hid very skilfully in a mixed flock of ebay and amazon emails.
      Thank you for your very kind words. In all seriousness, I agree with you. I think that all animals can pick up on the fact that you are not going to hurt them, and because of that, Widdle was prepared to cut me some slack, especially when the first piece of food I ever gave him was an apple. What must he have thought of me?

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