This one day,
I got up before anyone,
went up on roof with me book
and something made me look up.
And there he was. Staring at me.
A young todd fox, full grown. The cheek of ‘im!
He wasn’t scared. His eyes said,
‘Look at me. I’m all fox, me. I’m perfect. I
’m the fancyman fox and I’ll bet you wish you were me.’
I could see the dewdrops on his whiskers.
He was so bright. His eyes said,
‘Look at me. I’m more alive than you.
I do what I like and no one stops me.’
But I felt alive, too.
I could feel my heart bumping and
something tight in my throat.
And I wanted to pull up my skirts and
dance for ’im, something daft like that.
But what happened was,
we just looked at each other like that.
And then he turned and trotted away and
I could see the dark marks in the grass where he put his feet.
– Lydia Holly,
on South Riding, a Masterpiece Theater series
based on the novel by Winifred Holtby.