Fox Cub

Mum, Dad and I were watching a family of foxes; a male, a vixen and a lone cub. We were out on the road, somewhere up in North Wales, near where Mum was born. We'd parked somewhere to eat, and the fox family had come out to play.

We were in the car. I was sitting quietly in the back seat, and suddenly the cub was sniffing at me. It had come up to the car and jumped in, and now it was climbing onto my shoulder. Even as it curled up, the car door shut. Dad got into the car, and began to move off.

For some reason, at first I couldn't get Dad to stop yammering long enough to tell him the cub was still asleep on my shoulder. And when I did get to tell him, he stubbornly refused to consider turning the car around. We were driving along the road, Dad fixedly staring forwards, not looking at anybody, as if he were possessed or something. The landscape was changing, becoming urban, concrete walls either side, and I knew that unless I got him to listen it would be past the point of no return. And this was our conversation.

"Its parents are missing it."

"We can't go back."

"Dad -"

"Don't say another word. I won't hear it."

"I've got to put it back."

"We'll come back next week."

"I can't look after it!"

"Next week."

"It will die."

"Oh, don't be so dramatic!"

Then the alarm went off. And that was it.

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