It is another wild and windy day. But, never daunted, the farmer set off round the fields with Tip and Tess at 8.15 this morning. No sooner had he got into the top pasture than he saw, across on the other side of the field, a fox slinking up the hedge. Neither of the dogs saw it, although their noses in the air suggested they might well have smelt it.
After walking through the fields, along the side of the beck and through a muddy patch, he started back up the far pasture and had only got a few hundred yards up the field when he saw the fox again. Strangely, it was coming towards him, had obviously seen him and did not seem in the least afraid.
This time Tess spotted it and went towards it, standing until they were almost nose to nose. Scared that the fox might attack her, the farmer clapped his hands and the fox turned tail and went off down the pasture, hotly pursued by Tess - obviously a fox hound in Border Terrier skin.
In all his years the farmer has never seen a 'brave' fox who was not both suspicious and scared of humans (let's face it, nothing else preys on them) and we cannot help speculating that this might be a 'pet' fox which has been released. We do sometimes get urban foxes which have been dumped in the countryside. My only hope is that he/she learns quickly that humans are not to be trusted and that fox hunts are best experienced from well down in one's earth - also of course that my hens are safe from a hungry fox!