The philosopher and the fox

8am. Cause I gotta have faith faith faith. I gotta have faith faith faith.

9.30pm. I spot her in the garden. I grab my camera and run outside. Over the fence. I stay silent for a minute. As I look down, I notice that my left foot is one centimeter away from a massive toad. I almost let out a shriek, but quickly compose myself. I am just so thankful that I saw the green monster in time. I could have squashed him under my bare feet. That would have been an excruciating experience for both of us. I take a deep breath. When I get to the grass, it becomes clear that Faith isn’t there. Sigh.

12.15pm. Time for a new game plan. One of my friends is a professional photographer and I remember how he explained that I could set up the shot and just wait for the animal to ‘walk into it’. Why haven’t I done this from the start? So much easier! I put my camera on the little stone underneath my neighbour’s apple tree, recede 5 meters till I’m almost out of sight and trigger the shutter with my newly acquired remote control. Nothing happens. I take my camera back inside and try the remote. Works perfectly. I bring it outside. Nothing happens. Double sigh. Fine. I’ll just put the camera on the stone and hide behind the tree. This way I can be out of sight, but still have my finger on the shutter-release button.

1pm. Forty-five minutes. I just spend FORTY-FIVE minutes lying in the grass. Amidst the apples that have fallen from the apple tree and are in various stages of decomposition. My knee is in the middle of a rotting one, or some other soggy thing. I can’t really tell. I’m pretty sure she can a) hear that I’m here b) smell that I’m here c) see that I’m here or d) all of the above. Well, so much for my new game plan.

2.30pm. Of course she’s in her usual spot now that I’ve retreated. I approach her as quietly as I can, but she leaves. On my way back I run into my landlord’s son (who owns ‘my’ garden and is friendly enough to let me access it). Any luck?, he asks. Nope, not so much. It’s a challenge!, he replies. Yup.

3.30pm. She’s back! I make it to the jasmine. She looks right at me, but goes back to sleep. Dragging my body over the grass I get closer inch by inch. Finally I get to where I was four days ago (the garden furniture). I move an inch. Lie still. Move an inch. Lie still. Etcetera. I am now under the table. I point my camera at her. She is sleeping so there isn’t any point in trying to get a photograph. Then she wakes up and looks right at me. Only for a split second. Then she takes off. It’s something…