Persistence had paid off. The lady in the purple coat had shadowed the hunt many times without success, but today she came upon the hounds, surrounding a fox, the huntsmen yet to arrive. A window of opportunity!
The fox was cornered, although the foxhounds seemed curiously indifferent. The L.I.T.P.C. rushed towards them. Conveniently, a colleague with a video camera followed close by, filming her as she ran to confront the dogs. Described on a Facebook page as ‘bravely fighting off a pack of vicious hounds’, the dogs obediently made way for her, allowing her to scoop the fox up, and with her videoing companion in tow, she ran down the road, the hounds showing little interest in pursuing her. The daring rescue was complete!
“Handsome fox, I couldn’t let you be killed by those nasty vicious dogs,” she said.
“Thank you dear lady, you are most kind,” said the fox opening his long jaws, showing rows of pointed teeth.
“I was with friends at a dinner party recently,” she said, panting a bit as she ran. The fox pricked his ears up.
“One said a fox had dug under her fence and killed every one of her chickens!”
“Oh, that wasn’t me madam,” said the fox, his yellow eyes glinting.
“You won’t bite me, will you Mr. Fox?”
“No madam, why would I?”
Her little legs continued scurrying along the road. She felt hot and breathless and the fox felt unexpectedly heavy. She hadn’t planned ahead and wasn’t quite sure what to do with him. “Another friend said a fox had bitten the heads off all her ducks in the night! You won’t bite me, Mr. Fox?”
“No madam!” The fox put his head on one side, winked an eye and wagged his bushy tail. “You can release me now madam, the dogs are upwind and I know where I can go to earth.”
The L.I.T.P.C. lowered the fox down, glad to be relieved of the burden. Just then the fox turned and bit her hand.
“Owww! That really hurt!” Blood was pouring from a lacerated finger. “Mr. Fox, you said you wouldn’t bite. I saved you from certain death!”
The fox laughed. “If I’d wanted to, I could have bitten your finger clean off!”
The L.I.T.P.C. dropped the fox, sobbing. “Go Mr. Fox, bad Mr. Fox, go! But why did you bite?”
“Because I’m a fox,” said the fox.
Featured in the book, To Cut a Short Story Short: 111 Little Stories
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