Fantastic Mrs Fox

[A little late for US Mother’s Day, which was two days ago, but worth suspending my kingfisher posts for.]

I slammed on my brakes, because out on the grass in front of a nearby house was a mother red fox with four cubs. No camera, and my beagle quivering with excitement in the truck. So I drove home (5 minutes away), dumped the dog and grabbed the camera.

She was very relaxed, but vigilant:

The cubs were skittish, and scattered when I stopped the truck. They only emerged one at a time:

There was a large rock partly screened by leaves, so they felt safer there, and she groomed them:

Then this one took a nap:

The cubs were quite large:

and copying the mother’s every move:


The cubs looked healthy, and so did she, until she ran.

It then became apparent that although she moved fluidly and fast, she only used three legs, and that her right front leg was injured. Here is a close-up of her front feet, showing that the claws on the unused foot have grown long from lack of contact with the ground:

The leg also looks thinner, as if the muscles have wasted. According to a neighbor, she has been injured for four years, and despite that she has raised cubs every year.

She gets my mother-of-the-year award, Fantastic Mrs. Fox (with thanks to Roald Dahl.)

5 thoughts on “Fantastic Mrs Fox”

  1. I’m glad you went to get your camera…very surprised that you…who seem to see so much wildlife…travels without one. Mom Fox does need a pedicure.


  2. I find I identify with Mrs Fox, not that I have brought up cubs, but my right arm doesn’t function as it should due to Parkinson’s. I think I understand Mrs Fox’s determination!


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