Wednesday, 3 October 2012

My fox - World Animal Day Blog Hop


The first thing I do when I arrive back at my home in the Czech Republic, even before I unlock the door, is rub the muzzle of the fox door knocker. My home is an old farmhouse on a hill called Liski  Dira (Fox Hole in Czech) and the house is just like a fox with its haunches buried into the earth. As I lie in bed at night sometimes I can hear a vixen calling in the orchards above. The village dogs respond with frantic barking, but you can hear the fox laughing at them. “You have sold your freedom for a bowl of meat,” she says. “I have the moon and all the dark spaces in the forest.”

When I first bought the house I didn’t see any foxes, perhaps I was too busy restoring the house. I certainly wasn’t writing, although I had bought the house as a writing retreat. One evening as a taxi brought me from the station a fox crossed the road in the headlamp beam. “Liska,” said the driver with a smile. The following day I walked down from the woods with a basket of chanterelle mushrooms, called lisky (foxes) in Czech. It had started raining as I picked them and now it was sheeting down, so my head was bowed. Then I looked up and there standing in the middle of the lane a few yards away was a large fox looking straight at me. It contemplated me for a while and then trotted off across the fields. When we lived in London we were used to the brazen nature of town foxes, and  even had a family of them sharing the garden with our cat, but in the countryside foxes are shy of humans. I told my Czech friend about the meetings with the fox. “That’s wonderful,” she said. “Foxes are lucky in this country, just like black cats in England. No wonder the taxi driver was pleased when a fox crossed your path. They are meant to be the familiars of witches, you know.”

After that sighting, the fox started to appear to me all the time and as it did so I began to write again. It seemed the fox was now my familiar and a bringer of words. Then during one stay in the house I didn’t see my fox at all and yet I still managed to write. My husband was visiting from the UK and as we stood in the back bedroom I commented on my fox’s absence. He grinned and said “Zoe turn round and look out of the window.” There, only a few feet away from us, my fox was strolling through the orchard. 

13 comments:

Vikki (www.the-view-outside.com) said...

Just stopping by from the blog hop to say Hi :)

What a wonderful story honey!

I love foxes and at one house we lived in I used to feed them. They're my favourite wild animal.

I love your door knocker by the way ;)

Xx

Vikki (www.the-view-outside.com) said...

Just stopping by from the blog hop to say Hi :)

What a wonderful story honey!

I love foxes and at one house we lived in I used to feed them. They're my favourite wild animal.

I love your door knocker by the way ;)

Xx

jc andrijeski said...

Awesome post! I love the idea of a fox familiar. I love foxes, but I do get glimpses of the description of them in Watership Down at times, too (rabbits have a somewhat different perspective on the whole fox question). We had a few fox sightings when I was growing up in the Santa Cruz mountains in California, but they got more and more rare as the land got developed. I've always be struck by how beautiful they are, though...and how intelligent, and independent, as you implied. I can't think of a better muse for a writer...

Giacomo Giammatteo said...

Great post. I love foxes, but seldom see them. We had one living in the woods by us for a while, but I haven't seen it for a few years. Your story is enlightening, too. I had never heard of foxes being good luck. Thanks for sharing with us.

Susie Welker said...

Interesting about the fox in Czech. I think they are beautiful. The lone, majestic animal just standing off to the side, not interested in drawing attention to them self.

Thanks for sharing

Terri Giuliano Long said...

How wonderful! I love the idea of the fox as your bringer of words. I hope she continues to visit you for a long time. Thanks for taking part in the hop!

Terri Bruce said...

Oh wow, this was so interesting - I never knew Czech's consider foxes lucky, that there are city foxes in England, or that foxes are supposed to be the familiar of witches! I love foxes - we used to have two that hung out in the back yard occasionally and played like little kids (we live in the country, so they were shy of humans) but I haven't seen them in years :-(

naturemummy said...

In the traditions that I follow, the fox is believed to be the guide to fairyland, sometimes interpreted as the land of imagination. I thought you might enjoy that, as this would lead to writing as well. Cheers!

Amanda Taylor said...

Foxes are adorable. When I was young my parents had to rehabilitate a young kit they found. When she was strong enough to be on her own we let her go. Named her "Fanny". She would come back every once in a while. You fox will come back off and on.

Angela Donner said...

I love the connection you have developed with the fox and the positive aspects associated with them.

Thanks so much for sharing this!

Lesley Beeton said...

A lovely foxy story x.

There is a fox we see every evening on our dog walk. She isn't bothered by the dogs, and they don't bother her either. I often wonder if she is looking for food? I don't mind foxes, although I can see why farmers wouldn't want them around.

tollykit said...
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Dawn Hart said...
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