Our foxy neighbor

LEXINGTON, Mass. — She’s one foxy lady, my neighbor. The real deal: dark red hair, sleek coat, long bushy tail.

The first time we saw the red fox  — Kathy was outside with our grand-daughter Devon at about noon when it emerged from the shrubs across the street  —  I called Lexington police.

“There’s a fox wandering around my neighborhood,” I reported. “Any chance it’s rabid?”

No big deal, said the dispatcher. Foxes hunt by day, and it’s not unusual to see them in this Boston suburb, birthplace of the American revolution.

Since then we’ve discovered where it lives (it’s a mom with a den and babe or babes in the woods over the hill behind an acquaintance’s house).  Heard the tale of how she howled when a dog got too close. Saw her  several times skulking off the road. And then, yesterday at 6 p.m., watched as she walked right past our lilac bush, 10 feet from the kitchen door.

What we haven’t figured out is why a fox has settled down in a populated neighborhood but a dozen miles from downtown Boston.  It’s true. Last year, our neighborhood was over-run by rabbits, a tasty dish. But they’re all gone this spring (I think I know why). Last week, we found a squirrel tail sans squirrel.  I’m glad we have an indoor cat.

Our dog?  Murphy is a big boy, a golden retriever, who probably could hold his own with Foxy. But I’m thinking maybe I should follow the example of my neighbor who has taken to carrying a flashlight at night when she walks her two chocolate labs.  And I’m awfully glad we never bought a henhouse.

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About jerrylanson

I teach, write, coach and sing, though you're not required to listen to the latter. I'm a journalism professor at Emerson College in Boston. My third book, "Writing for Others, Writing for Ourselves," was published in November by Rowman & Littlefield Publishing. You can read a sample chapter at www.jerrylanson.com. My passions are politics (generally liberal in outlook), music, mountains, golden retrievers and my grandchildren, though not in that order. Please stop by and mix it up with me. I always answer those who post.
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