A crime – solved?


Well, Holmes and Watson have been round to look at the evidence from the mystery excavations in my garden:


All right, it was actually Karen (Artist’s Garden) and Shedman, but that is me in the feathered hat.

A paw print, now sadly blurry, was discovered.

Paw print, not – alas – claw print.


So much for the dragon theory.

But it also scuppers another – badger would be larger, rounder and claws would be more clearly visible – and leaves me with this:


Though possibly not a cur fox, but a young female – hence the absence of smell. There are certainly a lot more foxes around here than there used to be, leading to the removal and execution of a persistently annoying cockerel in the village, but I’d discounted them on the grounds that there was no other evidence. But the paw print clinches it, unless it is a passing dog. I could – according to Watson – try laying a trap of currants, which foxes apparently love. My own experience of foxes leads me to think that a discarded doner kebab might be more effective, but I could be corrupted by spending twenty years in London.

Next question – what to do?


22 Comments Add yours

  1. VP says:

    Whatever you do, don’t leave your hand lying around – it’ll have your fingers before you can say ‘knife’.

    Apologies for the rather pathetic attempt at a topical joke *hangs head in shame*

    1. kate says:

      Agh! (I nearly added something to currants as a potential bait, but — agh….)

  2. Mm, yes, all a little “current” – geddit? Geddit?! I don’t know much about foxes in gardens, do they stick to regular routes? If so, fingers crossed that she hasn’t picked your garden as a regular stop-over. Maybe the dragons will take care of the problem for you when they emerge from hibernation… Or you could import one of those rats from Papua New Guinea?!

    1. kate says:


      My London foxes seemed to stick to a regular pattern, but I’m hoping this one will be different. Going to fill in the holes tomorrow, replant plants, top with bark and rosa rugosa bits. If – and it’s a big ‘if’ – it stops flipping raining. Giant rodents not an option. Absolutely NOT.

  3. Cathy says:

    I don’t know whether or not to be disappointed that it wasn ‘only’ a fox 😦 but then again you haven’t actually seen it yet, so the paw print might be a red herring, just a ruse to draw you away from the real culprit… Very clever, these dragons…. Do you think the rain will put it/them off as well?

    1. kate says:

      Well, dragons are well known to be devious (think Smaug), so you could well be right. It’s probably trying to lure me out so it can pile all my gold into a big heap and sleep on it. That would be a couple of rings, one bracelet and some earrings, so I think it’s in for a disappointment…

      1. Cathy says:

        Do dragons wear earrings?

        1. kate says:

          Apparently they sleep in a heap of them (or so Tolkien and his sources say). But I think they’d look wonderful in them. Dangly ones, not studs. Except for male dragons, I’m sure they’d just go for a single stud.

  4. Hummm – if you are the one with the feathered hat, and Shedman, (He was the one that pondered over the marks and peered for the footprint) is the one on the left, that means I am the dumpy one on the right.
    You need to remember that small dragons dont have much in the way of claws – so I am sticking with them.

    1. kate says:

      I notice you didn’t pick on the moustache or sideburns as the identifying factor, ;-), hee hee

      I’m with you… on dragons and the complete absence of facial hair on anyone other than Shedman.

  5. Dobby says:

    On the grounds that Shedman is my elder sibling, I have to disagree with his diagnosis on principle and stick to small dragons. They come out of hibernation about now and are obviously hungry. Mind you, the giant rats are very cute. Hang on, there’s someone at the door. Yep, it’s the men in white coats.

    1. kate says:

      Well, I understand fully where you’re coming from – I never believe my brother on principle, either. Dragons it is, then.

      (And the men in the white coats are clearly going to need a bus.)

  6. Helen Johnstone says:

    I can tell you in authority that you should be pleased it isnt a badger – I enthusiasm for badgers has waned considerably

    1. kate says:

      They have completely trashed the garden of my friend up the hill, so I’m relieved too. It looks like wild boar have ben playing in the shrubbery…

  7. Christina says:

    As much s we all like to TALK about wildlife in our gardens, when they actually make an appearance we are not so pleased to see them. Foxes, badgers, woodpeckers, I’ve had them all and they are NOT WELCOME. Christina

    1. kate says:

      Can I add sheep to the list? Some of the ones that visited my friend’s garden up the hill – she had to install deer fencing in the end – were pretty wild. I guess that’s because their interests (food, digging, making a god-awful racket fighting/mating) just clash with ours (food, digging)…

  8. Anna says:

    I do like Karen’s theory more than the idea of a fox. A gentle little dragon’s inner furnace could keep a greenhouse at just the optimum temperature for seed germination. We’ve have foxes passing through regularly, including a mum with cubs in the past but fortunately no damage done. Hope that it was just a one off visit.

    1. kate says:

      Now that would be handy, but I suspect Karen’s theory is just a theory… shame…

  9. wellywoman says:

    Hopefully it was just a one off visit. Was there anything in the ground there that might have attracted her? I guess their sense of smell is strong so I was wondering if you’d used any manure or feed there?

    1. kate says:

      We’ve patched the bed up now, so it will be easy to tell if she pays a return visit. To the best of my knowledge there was nothing that should attract foxes (I had my entire London garden shredded by the ********s after I used fish, blood and bone without thinking), but there was a definite concentration on the achillea. Maybe that smells delectable to foxes?

  10. Definitely a small dragon (love the picture, just perfect). I know because I suffer from them up here. They are really odd creatures. If you look out of the window at midnight you can see them scratching about down by the big hedge but they never show up on our wildlife camera.

    1. kate says:

      Funny that, isn’t it? I think it must be a bit like vampires. I can hear them scuttling about under the camellias. P says it’s blackbirds, but they sound far too big or any sort of bird. Unless it’s eagles…

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