A Fox’s Larder


A piece of rotting meat lies beneath

Interesting to note a fox “caching” surplus food on the back hill. Unable to eat an entire dead sheep in a single sitting, the wily beast had been stashing bits and pieces all across the surrounding countryside. The old sheep’s skeleton had been tidied up and cleared away by the shepherd, but a mattress of wool showed where she had turned up her toes. And in a radius of three hundred yards, every little tussock and tump had a little nosed dent full of rotting meat, plugged with a gobbet of moss.

I know this because I own a labrador which lingers permanently on the verge of starvation and is pathologically incapable of ignoring protein. With steely determination, she found as many of these little stashes as she could before I finally realised what she was doing and managed to stop her.

Rather than let the carrion vanish into some buzzard, the fox had the presence of mind to hide its meal. I found evidence of crows doing the same several years ago (May 2010), and while this is not necessarily mind-blowingly novel, it’s one of the few situations when the otherwise awful American adjective “neat” is appropriate.

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