The boys were home from school, excited to be outside playing in the late summer rain. Catching raindrops on their tongues, getting their camo rain boots stuck in the mud, tackling each other in the giant puddle by the barn.. typical boy adventures.
They had VERY STERN instructions that when they came in the house they MUST leave their boots outside. Not on the rug in the kitchen. Not on the porch. OUTSIDE. I was taking no chances on destroying my hard-earned, hard-to come by, freshly toothbrush scrubbed kitchen floor. (And seriously? What are the chances it would rain the day after I scrubbed the floor?? We've been in a drought all summer..) Meanwhile the husband and I were enjoying a rare quiet moment in the house while they were outside and Ella was still taking a nap. (He was dozing off on the living room floor. I was washing dishes.. Exciting.)
When all of a sudden the blissful silence was burst apart at the seams by two boys frantically rushing in the door with crazy wide eyes, screaming and yelling and insanely excited about a white fox in the barn. The hubby and I shared a smirky, knowing glance.. A white fox? Really?
This coming from the child who recently told me that one time. When he was little. He was standing in a field. And he saw a bull. And it came rushing right at him. And he whacked it. With a stick. Right between the eyes. And his eyeballs fell out. And his horns fell out too. And he could not grow any more...
So about that "white fox"? It was probably a stray cat...
But being the dedicated, loving parents we are we strapped on our boots and ventured out in the rain to investigate this "white fox." And sure enough, we were beyond shocked to find.. a white fox. In our barn. RIGHT next to where our children were playing.
JJ grabbed the gun (come after me all you want Animal Rights Activists.. if there is a wild animal, in my yard, next to my children, in broad daylight.. it's probably not going to see tomorrow..) and was about to shoot it when he realized there was a collar on it. This was no stray fox. This was a pet. It wasn't afraid of us like a truly wild animal would be (more like an animal with rabies...) but it wasn't tame either (ie. when JJ got close to it, it tried to bite him.)
So there we stood, the boys jumping up and down on the front steps wild with excitement, me in the middle of the yard with a perplexed "what in the world do we do now?" look on my face, JJ poised and aimed with the rifle, still ready to add a fluffy white fox pelt to his hunting collection, and Ella graciously still sleeping.
The fox (we'll just call him Leonard) ran back into the barn so JJ hurried and shut the door, locking himself inside with Leonard, while the rest of us helplessly looked on.. The seconds ticked by. All was quiet. We didn't know who the victor would be. We waited in terrified silence, when suddenly a white bushy tail emerged from under the barn wall. Leonard escaped. *insert more fanatic small boy screeches and squeals here
Leonard then scurried around our yard a bit, causing us all to run wildly in different directions, sniffed his way through the sand pile and slinked into the dog house. JJ sneaked up from behind, I grabbed an old window (see honey- I told you those would come in handy someday..) and we trapped him, screwing the window to the dog house so he couldn't escape.
And that is the story of how we came to own a white marble fox.
We went back in the house (supper was cooking and almost ready) while JJ made phone call after phone call to the vet, the Exotic Pet Farm, the Game & Parks, and neighbors trying desperately to find Leonard's home. We knew he had a collar but we were NOT getting close enough to check for a tag (he tried to attack my hand through the glass. *insert frightened, high-pitched lady shriek here
And amid all the hustle and bustle and chaos, you can guess what happened to my clean, sparkly kitchen floor can't you? We were in. And out. Checking on the fox. Taking pictures. Making phone calls. Tracking through the mud. (Let me note that the boys DID take off their boots when they came in the house.. it's just that their socks were equally as wet and muddy as their boots were..) We were eating supper, rushing off to CCD. And back home again. And in. And out. (and I'm fairly certain JJ did NOT heed my stern warnings to take his shoes off..)
And now my kitchen floor is covered in muddy foot (and sock) prints, splattered ketchup, dribbled milk, and greasy chicken bones from when the cat got in and dragged the remains of our supper we hadn't had time to pick up from all the confusion, ALL OVER the floor.
At least we found the owner. Around 9:00 last night Leonard returned to the safety and comfort of his home. And we can all enjoy another day without rabies. Gotta be thankful for that!