Ready Fox

It has been quite a few years since I last saw a red fox running free in the wild, but it happened this past week, just before the snow came down covering the ground with near ten inches.
But there it was, pouncing again and again; it was obviously catching moles, voles or mice. That was unusual as it was mid-afternoon, in broad daylight, out in the middle of a long stubble recently harvested grain field. Perhaps it sensed the soon coming of snow. On first sighting, it tossed something into the air and then swallowed whatever it was in a single gulp.
By the time the vehicle was stopped, to watch, it had repeated the performance. But as soon as we backed up just a little, it froze in position and, while motionless, its bright reddish brown blended completely with the greyish brown autumn colours that surrounded it. If you took your eyes off of it for just a moment, it was difficult to decipher its position again.
When we backed up a little further to get better views, it took no chances and took off in quite long, almost floating bounds. It was a beautiful sight. Its fur glittered golden as it crested the hill and its white-tipped tail showed snow-white in the glow of the low, arching sun. It was a neat little surprise that sort of made my day.
The reason we were in the area was we had purchased a couple of Duroc hogs from a Mennonite farm and were going to pick them up. The area being quite new to us, we had picked up a neighbour to direct us the shortest route.
We wanted to stay on the back country roads, as we would be driving back slowly, feeling more at ease staying off the main roads.
We had originally wanted to get Berkshire porkers again, as we were quite pleased with the ones that had filled our freezer, but none could be found in the area, so we settled for a pair of red Durocs. Though they were in a stable that lacked electricity, we could barely tell, other than the grunts, what was in the enclosure, but let me tell you, we were not disappointed. If my guesstimate is any way near close, they each would tip the scales at over 100 pounds.
We had brought with us, in the back of the pick-up truck, a couple of crates, and it was lucky that we had brought two. It was quite a tussle of muscle by both man and beast, but when the doors were closed on the butts of the pigs, their noses were snug against the front of the crates.
On the way home, I mused over the fact that the colour of our new porkers, in the late afternoon sun, was in close proximity to the colour of the fox that had taken off over the hill earlier in the afternoon. By nightfall, snowflakes were falling on our heads, and by the time the snow leaves in the springtime, the porkers will be wrapped and packed in our freezer. Such is life on the farm.
Take care, ‘cause we care.

Barrie Hopkins