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It was quite rare to see a fox when I was a child, even when walking in open countryside in rural areas. This was in the 1940s and early 1950s.
We did glimpse a fox from time to time, but it was a talking point, "Look everyone, a fox!". As soon as the fox saw us, it would stand stock still for an instant and then dart rapidly away in the opposite direction or behind a bush. This was so even if we were already quite a distance away. Foxes were naturally scared of humans.
Foxes have changed since the 1940s and 50s. People laugh when I say this, but it is no joke. As I write in the second decade of the 21st century, foxes come into our back garden in increasing numbers. If they see us there, they still stand quite motionless, but no longer for an instant. They stay and glower directly at us, as if trying to stare us out. If we stare back, they eventually carry on calmly walking in their original direction.
If we shoo the foxes of today, they do amble away, but if we didn't see them in time to shoo, I am certain that they would come into the house. It is impossible to keep them out of the garden as I have seen them clamber over six foot fences and even walk along snow covered tops of fences. I am told that they can climb up quite high trees, although I have never seen this. There have even been high profile cases of foxes biting humans inside their own houses.
So we now have to keep downstairs doors and windows shut.