Last time,we were looking at what Widdle the Friendly Fox would eat and what he would turn his nose up at. Over time, we gradually built up a list of his likes and dislikes.
Physically, he was very thin and very wiry, but he was extremely strong for his size. If he pulled one end of a stick and you pulled the other, you could feel his muscles and his strength. Most of this came, in our opinion, because he wouldn’t eat bread or cakes. He wouldn’t eat curry or anything flavoured. He wouldn’t eat pizza. Even our local magpies wouldn’t eat pizza, incidentally. Widdle wouldn’t eat hamburgers, although we didn’t quite understand this. Perhaps he had his culinary standards. After all, the bar was set pretty high by our sausages (42% meat).
This photograph appears to show the biggest object Widdle ever managed to carry away. I have no idea what it was, but may have been a big bone or maybe some cut of meat that had gone past its sell-by date:
Raw bacon rind appears to be a delicacy in the fox world. Firstly, sniff what it is…
Don’t let it escape under any circumstances:
“A second piece? Don’t mind if I do!”
In the next picture, note the first piece of rind safely stashed on the floor. He didn’t find getting both in his mouth at the same time too easy!
“Cheese is different. You have so many dreadful flavours in cheese. So make sure you sniff it first….”
“Take hold of it carefully. It may crumble and you might lose some.”
“Sniff the next piece carefully. Just because the first piece was cheddar, that doesn’t mean they all will be.”
“Yes, it’s OK. I’ll take it, please. It’s good for the teeth, cheese!”
Not that Widdle would turn down proper meat.
“Would I like a bit of steak? You bet I would!”
“Watch what you’re doing. Fingers at your own risk!!”
Widdle usually took all the food that was offered to him. He filled his mouth up with sausages, bits of meat and so on, and took them back to Mrs Widdle in the den. She would eat some and share the rest with her cubs. The largest litter I ever saw in our garden was four, with No 4, the smallest one, perhaps only two thirds the size of the others. Mum and Dad taught them their table manners. Any transgression got a sharp nip on the backside to emphasise the point.
Notice how, in the last three photographs, Widdle has a great gaping wound on his chest. As I mentioned, male foxes frequently fight each other, and they bite their opponent’s muzzle and fore-limbs. I don’t know how Widdle acquired this particular wound, but it didn’t take long to heal up.
On four occasions, Widdle had bad injuries to one of his front legs and he could barely walk. In a wilder world, he would not have managed to hunt and he would have died, but his friends stepped in with Sausage-Aid and he got over it. That gave him five lives instead of the usual one, a minimum of four or five years of life compared to the usual two or three, and as many as fifteen cubs produced, instead of the usual figure of between none and four.