This is the second consecutive post that I have written and when pressing “Save Draft: the WordPress system has crashed and my creative beautiful writing has vanished into the ether. It is not hat the system does not automatically save drafts or is supposed to, it is not that I press the delete button – there is not one, but the entire blog post vanishes even from the archive. Alt delete or what? I am anything but happy, I lost my rhythm, my written words were pleasing and to re-write them will be difficult and the result undoubtedly less pleasing, however here goes..
To begin and borrow an opening line from the late Eartha Kitt “As you have guessed” we do not really have female guests at Bellaugello Gay Guest House. It is not that they are not welcome, but rather that as a Gay Guest House our principal efforts are to attract gay men and our marketing is wholly concentrated on them and it is they who come and stay here, enjoying our hospitality, the peace and quiet, the stunning infinity pool, lazy breakfasts on the terrace and making or meeting friends.
It was just another normal day here at Bellaugello. I was down in the vegetable garden harvesting chilli peppers when I caught a movement out of the corner of my eye. Just outside the fence a young fox was playing with the leaves of a zucchini, gently persistently it was tugging at them. The fox caught my eye and rather than darting back from where it came, the fox started to walk round the Orto fencing.
Round the perimeter the fox walked, nosing at the odd stone or dried fig, until, the open gate appeared, and in it trotted. Not shy the fox came to the tomato plants and picked up a dried tomato that had fallen on the ground, it is so hot this summer the orto is suffering. Trotting to a corner the fox, she as I discovered dug a hole and with gay abandon flicked the tomato into the hole. No sooner was it in than her snout went down again and she flicked it out of the hole. Gambolling over to where it had landed she once again picked it up and put it more carefully in the hole. Thinking she had been more deliberate I thought that is where the tomato would stay, but no, she flicked it out, a delightful childlike game and with me a mere two metres away so entrancing to watch.
Now she has become a frequent early evening visitor. As I water the pot plants she slowly reveals herself from the lower terrace, and of course me being me has to find her food. She is young, a wonderful thick tail but so so thin. Cutting up some left overs I gently throw them in her direction, she comes and eats gratefully. Her only fear is the two farm cats that since my dogs died seem to have adopted (or so they think) the gardens here at Bellaugello. If she sees them she keeps the morsel in her mouth and runs away to a quiet spot to eat in peace, I learn the cats are boss.
I am followed from terrace to terrace, she stops and admires the handsome guys drinking aperitivos on their terraces, sometimes she finds a dried apricot or fig hidden under the leaves, sometimes she is happy just to admire, whichever it is she is delightful. Yesterday evening I fetched a bowl of water and she drank copiously I even managed to catch her on video.
Now it may be said that she has a penchant for Brikenstocks and Havaianas, but I refuse to believe that she is too young and cute. Last week I learnt from guests that scientific studies on how long it might have taken for a wild dog to become domesticated were carried out on foxes. Taking the quietest of the litter and breeding it with the quietest from another the scientists discovered it took only three generations for the fox to go from being totally wild to being domesticated, I guess our fox is somewhere in the middle of that process, also bearing in mind the repeated disappearance of half pairs of footwear!
My concern is that her days are sadly numbered. The hunting season opens shortly here in Umbria and hunters hate foxes. Afterall the foxes kill the small birds and wildlife that the hunters want to kill themselves, so have to done away with. Maybe this time she will be sufficiently domesticated to survive for welcome she is.