I was outside watching my dogs when a casual glance in the direction of my neighbor’s yard caused me to startle. My heart jumped as a fox stared at me from the boulder in her English garden. There he was, and there I was, locked in an intense staring contest. Like deer caught in headlights, he didn’t move and neither did I. Did he have rabies? After what seemed like an eternity, it dawned on me that he was fake. A phone call to my neighbor and some laughter on her part followed shortly thereafter. Her son insisted on purchasing this garden critter and really liked it. Well, who was I to judge? I’m the person who stared it down for goodness sake.
Then, about a month or so later a phone call and the question “Have you seen the fox?” As I looked out of my window I noticed that the boulder was devoid of any animal, fake or otherwise. The fox was gone and no one knew where it went. My husband didn’t know, I didn’t know, my neighbor’s children didn’t know and my kids were clueless. Her son was upset by this critter crime.
What did the fox say?
I was about as broken up about the fox’s disappearance as I was when flamingos appeared on my lawn after a neighborhood party. Like a crotchety old lady, I started to guess which neighborhood kid would have absconded with the fox. Oh the irony of my finger pointing! Later that day I picked up my second grader from the bus and started to share with him the mystery of the fox. It was then that I saw him casually avoid my eyes.
“Ummm, mom….I may know where the fox went,” said my youngest child. I may have pet it one day, and it could have fallen over and broke its leg. I was so scared that I kind of hid the fox and threw his leg into the woods.”
A walk into our neighbor’s yard, only to find that the entire body of the fox was on the ground only three feet away. We salvaged the main part of the garden critter and attempted to locate the missing limb. It was nowhere to be found. Now, I’m not trying to focus on the wrong thing here, but my son was horrible at covering up his crime. Why he didn’t hide the body and the limb is beside me. That’s how criminals get caught! I’m joking….seriously, I’m joking. Don’t worry, I didn’t give my little fox maimer any advice.
What I did do is march him over to my neighbor’s house. My son stood in her foyer and confessed his crime. He promised to repay her for the fox or do his time in the form of babysitting her younger son when we socialized for dinner. We then propped the fox on the boulder with a small stone. Her older son was amazingly mature and forgiving.
I’m happy to say that my son has since paid his debt to society and has learned a lesson in humility and honesty. He has also learned never to pet a fake fox. As for me? I have learned that I need to keep an eye on this youngest son of mine as he matures and is faced with making the right decisions in life.