31 January 2016

Fair and Balanced

I've seen more foxes in London then I ever have in Dublin. I'm usually too slow with the camera though.
Spa Fields Park, London, 29th January, 2016
Walking home, late Thursday night, early Friday morning. The streets are quiet, the pubs are closed and everyone has gone home. The rain is light, enough to get damp but not enough for an umbrella. Enough to speed you up the closer to home you are.

I grew up in a house on the side of a hill. Behind us our garden rose up to meet the hillside, cut grass blending in to wild gorse and bracken. We had a number of cats, wild when it suited them, domesticated when hungry, the hillside was their demesne, but only by day. By night they shared with with the foxes.

I was told as a child that the cats and foxes never fought, for although they roamed in similar territory they hunted for different prey and at different times of the day. I pictured the old cartoon about the wolf and the sheepdog, both clocking in at the start of the day and clocking out at the end, no longer adversaries, just two tired workers on their way home, nodding in recognition to each other and to the wolf and dog clocking in for the next shift. I pictured the cats and the foxes as shift workers, meeting each other on the hillside trail as one's day began and the other's ended, nodding collegially with a cheery "morning!" as they passed by.

Late night in London, or early London morning, I stop and greet the fox as she heads out to work. "Quiet night so far," I say. She stares at me, from a cautious distance, then disappears through a fence, into the deeper shadows. 

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