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In memory of our fox Martini

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Posted 16-05-2017 at 05:44 PM by DemolitionRed

All this talk of fox hunting has stirred up memories of my childhood.

I arrived home from school oneday to be ushered into the dining room by my mum and taken over to a small wooden crate that was sitting by the radiator. Inside the box was a tiny scrap of a red fox, probably no older than a few days.

A local hunt had killed the mother and the farmer, who's land they trespassed upon, had gone across his fileds looking for damage. This is when he found two tiny babies in the lair of a former badgers home. He'd decided to rear one (the girl) and knowing my parents had a menagerie of animals, asked if they would like to rear the other.

In today's times we would of contacted some animal rescue place, where he would of been brought up without much human contact before being released back into the wild, but back then, we took it upon ourselves to hand rear him. We named him Martini and Martini was part of our family for four memorable years.

They say that fox's are closely related to the cat and not the dog, but Martini played like a dog. He was a loving, very trainable little guy who was sociable and gentle and very cheeky. As he grew into a man, he did stink quite a bit but none of the other animals, including us, minded very much. We used to take him out for walks with the dogs and to the vets for his annual injections. We were told that he could live till around 12 but at the age of 4 he caught a virus he couldn't shake off.

It was a sad day when we buried Martini in an earthy plot at the bottom of our garden. We planted a little tree which grew and blossomed in his memory and we reassured ourselves that out there, in the wild, he probably wouldn't of lived as long as he did.

What my parents did was probably wrong but as humane animal lovers, they believed they were doing the right thing. What they always taught me was compassion for our fellow animals and I thank them for that. I also thank Martini who honoured me with his very unique presence.
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