- Richard Haywood
That time I ran naked and free with wild foxes…
It was a beautiful autumnal night and the sky was an inky black filled with millions of twinkling stars all hinting of faraway places and alien worlds. The moon hung low and bright. Stripping colour from the land and replacing it with a monochrome vista of silvers and greys. I awoke within the silence of that night and sought a glass to quench my thirst and in so doing I happened upon the foxes within my garden, and so captured was I within that magical moment that I knew within my heart that I could go forth and be accepted without fear or aggression. I opened the door as naked as the day I was born and was immediately taken within the pack to run wild and far and deep into the night with an event that would come to define me as a person and allow me a glimpse into the natural world where all things are interconnected. To see how the fox sees. To be cunning and filled with animalistic charm and guile. To be what they are…
Righto. That’s not what happened at all.
For a start, British urban foxes aren’t pack animals, or herd, or flock, or whatever the collective wording is for a gaggle of foxes. (And it’s not gaggle either) (but it probably should be) Also, foxes don’t hold majestic poses in gardens under a silvery light. And they certainly don’t hang about when naked men open doors.
What they do is scarper because the average British urban fox is pretty much like a rogue SAS Spec-Ops master of stealth ripping the shit out of binbags and scattering rubbish all over the lawn which they then shit and piss on while sticking two foxy fingers up at the domesticated dogs going nuts behind windows.
They’re ruthless too. You leave one bin bag outside the door and they’ll literally swarm out the second you put it down to throw shit in your face.
So, yes, I had always known I had foxes visiting my garden of a night, you know, cos of the whole shredded bin bag and rubbish covered in fox shit thing, and I often left my dogs food bowls out too, which would be licked clean and shat upon by the next morning. But I had never really paid much attention. They were just creatures that existed that I glimpsed when I was working nights in the police.
Crusty (one of my dogs) (the angry one) always runs out first thing in the morning and sprays his own piss over anything that smells of fox. Food bowls. Rubbish. Bin bags. People. Which then prompts my other two dogs (Bear – the mild mannered one, and Milka – Crusty and Bear’s mum, aka the lazy one) to also spray their piss about. Yay!
On this particular night, I woke up needing a wee and staggered about, like you do, all lurchy and bleary-eyed to do my business. Crusty and Bear were whining and I figured they also needed a wee and so, in my half comatose and very naked state, I opened the back door.
“Oh rats!” said the two Spec-Ops foxes currently smearing shit over the windows. “We’ve been rumbled. Quick, run!”
“HAHA!” shouted Crusty (the angry one) “stick your fingers up at me and shit in my bowl will you!”
“I’m going to run out barking too,” said Bear, because, you know, his brother was barking and it seemed like fun at the time.
The foxes however, being fleet of foot, then flung some shit at us and started running about the garden in full panic. One went to the upper patio with Bear in hot pursuit, and the other one ran past the back door with Crusty snapping at his tail. This was all within a second or two and so I’ve gone out, completely naked, to run the full length of the garden shouting at Crusty while he barked at the fox while the fox yelped in fear at being chased by an angry dog and a naked man. Bear’s fox then tried to get over the fence but bounced off and landed on Bear, who promptly had a panic attack and started howling because a fox touched him, which in turn, prompted his fox to start screaming at being touched by a dirty dog with both scrabbling to get away from each other and knocking the bird bath over. Booting the bench into the wall and kicking potted plants all over the place.
By this time lights are coming on all over the street with curtains going back. ‘WHAT THE FUCK!’ someone shouted from a window. ‘FOXES!’ I yelled back. ‘WHY ARE YOU NAKED?’ ‘COS…COS FOXES!’ I shouted as said fox then reached the end of the garden, and seeing no way out has swiftly about turned and dodged past Crusty to run at me all wide-eyed and terrified from the dog behind it and the naked dude crying out and running backwards while covering his willy.
Thankfully, Bear’s fox made a desperate bid for freedom – which he didn’t need to do as Bear was too scared to go near it – and got over the fence and eventually, after lots more shouting, yelping, howling and barking, Crusty came back and his fox also got away, albeit with Crusty looking rather pleased with himself and Bear calling the RSPCA to book in some therapy. We then went in to see Milka (the mum dog) still fast asleep and snoring on her back with her legs up in the air.
I did think that after that traumatic experience the poor foxes would never return. But they came back the next night to resume their shit-smearing antics.
The very next night…
The foxes now have their own bowls (which they still shit and piss on) and get fed every night while sticking foxy fingers up at Crusty. One of them even sits on the shed waiting for me to put the food out.
But yes, that was the time I ran naked and free with the foxes…Woohooo!
Much love RR Haywood
PS – The Worldship Humility Book 2 is finished and just about to go through editing. There is no timescale for release yet, but I will update soon as I know anything. (Hopefully by the summer) if you haven’t listened to the first one then seriously give it a go. Colin Morgan’s narration is just incredible.