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U3A Writing: Hazel's Story

Ken Silvestre tells a heart-warming true story.

Hazel felt very, very, tearful, as she sat on her bed talking to her Barbie Doll. It was a sad day. Daddy had just come home after taking Tit Bits, the family cat and Hazel's favourite pet, to the vet's, and Hazel just wanted to tell Barbie how unhappy she felt.

Tit Bits had been her special pet since she was a little girl, although she had lots of other animals, Guinea pigs, rabbits, hamsters and a goldfish. Tit Bits had always been there sleeping at the foot of her bed.

The last few weeks however Tit Bits had been very poorly and had to go to the vet's every week, Daddy said she was an old lady and very tired.

Just then Daddy came into the bedroom and put his arm around Hazel, "I'm so sorry," he said , "but they couldn't make poor old Tit Bits better.She just went to sleep and didn't wake up."

Hazel started to cry and her daddy gave her a big hug and said, "I know you love animals very much, so as a special treat tomorrow, while Mummy looks after the baby, you and I will go to the zoo."

The next day they had a wonderful day at the zoo and then started off for home. It was a stormy night as they drove up the motorway with the headlights shining on the wet road ahead.

Suddenly Hazel's daddy pulled over to the side of the road and stopped, "I think there is a dog lying injured in the road," he said and getting out of the car, he ran back, "It's not a dog," he said, "it's a young fox, and it seems to have been hit by a car."

They both looked down at the poor fox and Hazel cried, "We must do something, please Daddy for Tit Bits' sake."

"Oh alright" said her Daddy, "help me put it on this old blanket." As they tried, the poor fox cried in pain so they slid a piece of cardboard under it and then dragged it on the blanket and slowly and gently placed it into the car, then drove home with Hazel sitting beside it on the back seat.

When they arrived home they carried the fox into the kitchen and Daddy called to Hazel's Mummy, "Come quickly, look what we have rescued."

Hazel's Mummy came into the kitchen, "Oh my goodness!" she cried "what have we got here?"

"It's a fox," said Hazel "and we are going to make it better."

"Well," said Mummy "we can't keep it in the kitchen. I know, there's an old cupboard drawer in the garden shed. Fill it with rabbit straw and it will be kept warm."

So very gently they carried the fox to the shed and placed it in the drawer filled with some rabbit straw.

"It does look poorly," said Hazel and offered it some chicken to eat, but the fox just looked at it and curled up in a ball.
Hazel's Daddy looked down and examined the fox then he turned to Hazel and said, "That's not a him, darling, it's a her and she is called a
vixen."

"Well in that case I shall call her 'Vicky'," said Hazel.

The next day Hazel and her daddy carefully lifted the fox with its box onto the seat of the car and set off to the vet's.

When they arrived the vet examined Vicky and, shaking his head, told them the fox was very badly injured with multiple fractures of the leg and it would be very expensive and need a lot of nursing. It would be kinder to put her to sleep.

"No!" cried Hazel "we must save her, I will give all my pocket money and I will look after her, I promise."

Hazel's daddy went off with the vet and stood for a while talking, then he walked slowly over to Hazel and said, "If you promise to look after her we'll see what can be done."

"Oh yes," said Hazel, "I will." And so they watched as the nurse carefully moved Vicky the fox on to a trolley and wheeled her out to the operating theatre.

"You go home now," said the vet, "I will telephone you as soon as there is some news."

A few days later Vicky was brought home and spent the next few weeks with her leg in plaster curled up in the box. Hazel looked after her, bringing her fresh food, water and clean straw.

Gradually the fox became used to Hazel. She often allowed Hazel to stroke her and very soon they became firm friends.

After a month the vet said Vicky was cured and could be set free.

"Oh no!" cried Hazel, "she wants to stay here with me."

"No!" said her daddy quite firmly,"she is a wild animal, and wants to be free to roam the countryside with other foxes. It would be cruel to keep her caged up."

The next day Hazel and her daddy took Vicky in the car to the nearby fields. Hazel was crying and so sad as they opened the door of the car and gently coaxed Vicky out. She was very reluctant at first then slowly got out and stood looking at a very tearful Hazel.

"Go on" cried Hazel, "I shall always think of you. Now go and play with your friends."

The fox stood for a moment looking at Hazel then giving a little bark, ran off tail high, into the woods.

It was a year later on a cold spring night that Hazel heard a noise below in the garden. She jumped out of bed and looked out the window into the eyes of a fox standing looking at her. "It's Vicky!" shouted Hazel "its Vicky come home."

Hazel rushed downstairs to where the fox was standing. Then it turned around and slowly walked down to the shed and scratched at the door. Puzzled, Hazel opened the door and the fox went in.

Hazel rushed back into the house and told her daddy what had happened. They both went back to the shed and her daddy leaned over the box and looked at the fox, "Yes!" he said "it is Vicky and what's more she's going to have a baby fox so it looks as though you are going to be a nurse again."

Weeks later Hazel heard a loud barking coming from the shed and rushed down to find Vicky lying there with two little baby foxes. Vicky looked at Hazel as if to say, "Aren't I a clever fox?" then carried on feeding the two little cubs.

Vicky stayed a month with Hazel looking after her and the two cubs until one night Hazel heard a loud bark and looked out to see Vicky standing there in the moonlight with her two cubs. Slowly she and the cubs came up to Hazel and rubbed themselves round her legs. Then slowly Vicky walked off with her cubs into the night and the distant fields, just turning to look back to a tearful Hazel waving to them. Then with a loud bark she turned and was gone.

Hazel stood for a while with tears rolling down her face, "Goodbye Vicky, goodbye babies I shall miss you."

Just then her Daddy came to the door and put his arm around her, "It's for the best darling, you have been a good and kind little girl. Now come in and have a look in the kitchen.

Hazel walked in to find a basket on the floor by the radiator. She went over and bent down to find the tiniest, fluffiest little kitten all curled up. Slowly it opened its eyes and, giving a little meow, jumped onto Hazel's lap.

"That's for being such a kind little girl. Now all you have to do is give it a name," said Daddy.

"I know," said Hazel, "we shall call it Vicky."

And somewhere in the wood came a bark.

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