I’m in Italy in a nature reserve and we’re looking for a tame fox, or Volpe as the Italians have it. All we see are signs suggesting that we don’t feed the animals. We’ve been told to make a lot of noise and one will come to us. No fox comes and the silence seems to mock us.
We give up looking for the fox and focus on the walk, the sunset and the prospect of a distant bird hide. It’s miles util we reach the bird hide. At the bird hide there is the usual view from a bird hide: desolation; flat and featureless land; and not even a dickie bird. Then I see a fox. We’re falling over one another to photograph it. It’s choking down some dead mammal and licking its lips extravagantly. It looks so much like a cartoon version of Reynard the Fox, straight from a fairy tale, folk tale or children’s story.
How beautiful is that face, that nose and that pattern of red and white hairs?
There’s an information board with a sketch of the fox. It really doesn’t do it justice.