9 January 2020

Fake

Let me introduce you to Fake Fred Fox. He came into our lives on Christmas morning and now he sits in our garden beneath the tree where much of the bird feeding happens. Fake Fred was of course modelled on the real Fred Fox who was a regular visitor in past years. See here and here.

Fake Fred is more predictable than Real Fred. Fake Fred doesn't move unless I pick him up. Real Fred would have never allowed that to happen. He was a wild animal. Fake Fred was moulded from resinous plastic in a factory but Real Fred came out of the belly of a vixen in a secret urban den burrowed beneath an abandoned garden shed.
There are other differences too. Fake Fred never eats a thing but finding food was the number one purpose of Real Fred's life. We bought him several tins of dog food and he also chomped on lamb bones and chicken carcasses.

And Fake Fred is completely silent. But a few years ago I would sometimes hear Real Fred screaming at the moon in the back gardens behind our house. Once you have heard the yowling of a real fox you never forget it. The noise will often accompany mating rituals. Thank heavens human beings don't need to carry on that way.
Above - there's Fake Fred Fox under the bird feeding tree. He scares off cats and also acts as a perch for a cheeky robin that appears from time to time. Below you can see some of our daffodils emerging from the ground in early January. This is far too premature and like the butterfly I saw on December 30th quite starling too. You can see Fake Fred in the background. He hasn't moved an inch.

51 comments:

  1. Are you sure that was Real Fred you heard screaming at the moon? Okay! Okay! I know that's your story, and you're going to stick to it!

    Fake Fred is a lovely fellow. He will stay close to home, with no desire to roam...a loyal pet, indeed. :)

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    1. Okay okay, maybe it was Fiona Fox or Fabian Fox or Florence Fox...but deep in my heart I do believe that it was always Fred.

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  2. Fake Fred! Good name!

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  3. I love Fake Fred! What a wonderful reminder of the real Fred and he does look like him too. Do you still have your sheep friends that were in your garden? Now you need a donkey too!

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    1. Of course we still have Beau and Peep Bonnie! I would never send them to the butcher's shop!

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  4. Fake Fred is a nice addition to your garden. I guess he won't be of any danger to the sheep that also live there.
    Yes, the scream of a fox is rather scary until you realise it really is just a fox.
    Daffies out in January - that is really not good. The magnolia trees in my street have big buds already, too; I worry that everything will die when winter decides to visit our parts eventually.

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    1. Sometimes I have seen daffodils poking through a layer of . They are very hardy plants...but still! January 8th! Crazy.

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  5. He is nice. Do you have gnomes too?

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    1. We have three gnomes - Gilbert, Godfrey and Paul - the naughty one.

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  6. He could change his name to Wordsworth and write poems about those Daffodils?

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    1. Don't be daft Northsider! He has little paws. How could he hold a pen or tap away at a laptop?

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    2. I ask the same question about myself self. Does he like Foxes glacier mints?

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    3. No. He prefers Nuttall's Mintoes...Remember them?

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  7. You really never struck me as someone who would have a fake fox as a garden ornament - far too bourgeois.

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    1. Foxes are persecuted outsiders that the aristocracy STILL love to pursue on horseback with packs of baying hounds. My Fake Fred exists partly in memory of all of his lupine brothers and sisters who died in The Fox Genocide.

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  8. He's really taken you in. He's looking in different directions in the last two photographs. His head has moved. I don't know. How gullible can you get? When I first saw the title I thought it was going to be another post about your Hannah Hauxwell invalid cup.

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    1. The cruel twist in your last sentence has broken my heart as intended. Mercy Sir Tasker! Mercy!

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    2. It was a sentence too far. I will try to write only considerate comments in future.

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  9. All hunted to death in our area, though one got all of Pasture Cottage's chickens last spring. Fake Fred/Freda is rather gorgeous, fancy not sexing the real fox...

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    1. I have never sexed a fox in my life Thelma! At least that's what I told the RSPCA officer.

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  10. Does he really frighten away cats? I must get one for my garden.

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    1. H did at first but now I think they are getting used to him.

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    2. Jay Cee, there are lots of myths about. Not least in cyberspace.

      Once upon a time I had a massive garden. Let's call it a wilderness. Part tamed, part meadow, lots of trees. In the summer, earliest morning, just at dawn, with dew still on the grass, I'd go out (clad in my white dressing gown like a figure out of a Wilkie Collins novel and before the neighbours were up) to pick snails off my most prized plants. Not that Hostas don't look, beautifully so, like lace once a few snails have feasted on them. So, there I was, looking out from the conservatory whilst putting on my wellies, when I saw a fox, right at the bottom of that garden. Slinking across the garden's width before stopping. A beauty if ever there was one. My cat (tiny, barely out of its toilet training) was about two meters away from him. Time stood still. For me. God knows what their exchange was. I expected carnage before I'd have a chance to intervene. Alas, with an almost majestic air of indifference, the fox took one look at the cat, most likely totally ignored ME, and went its way. The cat? The cat was unperturbed. And I proceeded to pick off snails. What hurt that nobody believed my story. So, the next few mornings I took my camera hoping the fox would oblige me. And he/she did. Proof. Ah, the unbelieving Thomases of this world.

      U

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  11. Fake Fred can't hold a candle to real Fred, of course, but he's OK in his own right and it's good that he protects the bird feeders!

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    1. He shall not grow old as we that are left grow old.

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  12. I love foxes and occasionally get the real thing in my garden, as we have alot of urban foxes here in London. One of my dog-walking friend hates them and will do all she can to get rid of them. I am impressed with how well-advanced your daffodils are - mine are but an inch high at the moment and there's me thinking you Northerners have a harder climate than we Southerners.

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    1. Living in Wood Green, my daughter says that she often sees urban foxes late at night. I put a search into Google - How many foxes are there in London? And the reply came back - approximately 28,000. More foxes than Uber drivers.

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  13. I am quite fond of Fake Fred even though I despise fakes and find most Freds to be rather pedestrian.

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    1. I guess there are a lot of Freds in California and over in NYC wasn't Trump's daddy also called Fred? He used to sit under trees too and was also hollow like his notorious fake son.

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  14. Well, in a sense, Fake Fred Fox is as real as anything. He's just not a real fox.
    Like Redd Foxx who was also quite real and even alive but not a real fox.
    I think I could use more coffee.

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    1. I guess it was early in Lloyd when you wrote this.

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  15. Cunning. That is the fox's image. Maybe they are. Fact is we all need to eat. By hook or by crook.

    On account of your own fox I found myself, just now, picking Roald Dahl and Beatrix Potter off my book shelves.

    U

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    1. I hope you weren't culling them Ursula! By the way, congratulations on becoming President of the European Commission. Quite an achievement.

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  16. I like Fred, but I like Harbin even more. (If you think I haven't been commenting, I have; it's just that by the time I get here you have moved on and apparently never go back to read stragglers!)

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    1. I usually do go back Jenny and read what has been put though second time round I might not leave a reply.

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  17. Nothing clever to say except 'I want one' lol
    Briony
    x

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    1. Fake Fred doesn't dump faeces on the lawn - another advantage.

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  18. I like Fake Fred. It's a nice tribute to the real one. I also appreciated the picture of your bird feeding tree!

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    1. You are now officially Fake Fred's auntie.

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  19. I looked at your old photos of Fred. He was beautiful! I was sad to read of his death. I wonder if he had mange.

    Fake Fred is nowhere near as beautiful as the real Fred but I guess he does the trick:)

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    1. One of Fake Fred's functions is as a memorial.

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  20. I can hardly imagine that you are not a fan of dogs, given your apparent love of cows, donkeys, foxes, etc

    i think i like fake Fred

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    1. I love cats but as a child we never had dogs in our house and in my life I have had several scary encounters with dogs. However, I don't think your Harry would scare me!

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  21. There was “something” making odd snuffly/snorty noises in the garden in the middle of last night. Fox was my first thought,! I shall see what the dog thinks when I let him out shortly. I love your fake Fred.

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  22. I have seen these in the garden center. He looks good in that position under the tree but I'm not sure if he will scare off the cats. Ours like nothing better than sitting on the wall and watching the foxes at night and the fox takes no notice of them at all.
    Briony
    x

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    1. It was a bit of wishful thinking on my part.

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  23. An interesting addition to your garden YP., and I think he will look much better when he's weathered a season or two.

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    1. You are probably right. Currently he is like a new car that has just come off the production line.

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Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.

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