Urban encounters and renewed faith

October 31st, 2009

I had a delightful surprise last night. On the way to visit a friend I passed by a park area near my home. The park isn’t lit and the trees surrounding it still have enough leaves to keep most of the streetlight out. Walking by, my eye was caught by a flicker of light and¬† looking closer I realised that it was coming from a mobile phone held by one of two youngsters of maybe 14 years old who were lying on the ground. Slightly puzzled I was about to move on when I caught another movement nearby – a bushy tail – which as my eyes adjusted to the darkness resolved into a young fox about 10 feet from the youths. As I stood and watched I realised that they must have been keeping very still for some time and that the flicker of light was from one of them trying to film the fox on his mobile.

They were doing an excellent job of avoiding disturbing the fox and I watched it move gradually closer until it was within about 2 feet of one of the boys, probably hoping that they had some food but showing remarkably little fear of them for such a streetwise creature. It was an enchanting sight.

The fox looked to be in good condition so there must be plenty of food available here in the centre of the city. Good to see such an animal flourishing so close to us. Equally encouraging to see two young lads appreciating it too. It’s so easy to fall for the trap of the tabloid media’s demonisation of young people, and assume whenever you see youngsters at night that they must be up to no good. These two were showing quite the opposite and clearly were delighted to be so close to a wild creature and must have been displaying great patience and reserve to be tolerated and trusted by that fox. I hope they managed to get some footage on their phone and that they continue to be enthralled¬† by the natural world.

Entry Filed under: Edinburgh,Social/Political

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