On the morning of yesterday's open day we arrived wondering how the day would go, especially considering the mixed weather. As we got to the kitchen, Maria, a friend of ours, said, "oh, you have a fox", and we saw curled up in a corner, a small and very still fox! Alive, but barely responding to us. We all wanted to scoop it up and cuddle it, but fought those instincts and left it be, as best we could with kids and guests around. The fox eventually got up and limped around between our feet, drinking a little milk.
We moved the fox to a shed to rest, where our open day visitors got to see it through windows without disturbing it too much. Unfortunately the fox had convulsions during the day, so it seemed it had been poisoned. We broke the news to our kids that it might not survive, but decided to bring it to the local vet, who it turns out has experience with wild animals. She agreed to take it in (at a discount), and amazingly the fox, who is a 2 month old female, survived the night.
This evening we'll be collecting the recovered fox and tomorrow releasing her back into the wild, with good wishes and thanks from all of us, for her visit.
Also on the Open Day, our French visitors appeared with a rabbit which they then skinned, cooked and served. We allowed the children to watch this process, and our animal-loving 7 year old, who we thought might have been upset, instead said, "it was okay because we used almost all of the rabbit".
I feel this day was a kind of mingling of our human and the natural worlds, and I came away from this experience very moved by a glimpse of something larger and deeper than what normally concerns us day to day.