It's a pleasure to welcome Geraldine back to the blog, this time to share an excerpt from her book.
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In the excerpt below, Geraldine has kindly shared the first two chapters of The Foxes' New Family, as well as some illustrations from the book.
Two brown foxes stood near the edge of the trees and watched trucks come and go with furniture and people. They were not happy to see people move into the large house with the very big front and back yards. The house had been empty for a long time, and they were able to go into the yards to find water and sometimes food. No one had bothered them. Now their lives would forever be changed by the new people moving into the house.
The two foxes were feeling upset when they saw two young girls get out of a car that drove up the long driveway and stopped. The girls looked alike and were almost the same size. One had very long dark hair up in a pony tail and the other had blonde hair to her shoulders. Both were laughing and happy, running around the yard, exploring. It must have been their parents who got out of the car and watched them, smiling to each other.
"We're going to be happy here," said the woman.
"I think so, too," answered the man, as he took the woman's hand to lead her into the house.
The male of the foxes, who was a little bigger and his fur a little darker, turned to his mate. "They might be happy, but I don't think we will be anymore," he said to her.
The female fox had a sad look as she nodded in agreement. They faded into the trees, back to their den on the property adjoining the house’s yard.
A few days went by and the two foxes watched the people set up their house and wander around the yards in the evening. As soon as the two girls came home from school, they would go out to play. Today the girls were running and chasing each other in the middle of the huge front yard when suddenly one stopped and pointed with delight.
"Look, Shannon! Foxes!!" The girl began to run toward the animals.
"Wait, Mary! Don't scare them!" shouted Shannon, but it was too late. The foxes disappeared back into the thick stand of trees that bordered their yard.
At supper that night, Mary and Shannon told their parents about seeing the two foxes.
"That is exciting," agreed their Dad. "But they are wild animals. Don"t try to touch them or chase after them. You could get hurt and you will frighten the foxes as well. Just leave them alone and let them continue to live their lives in the forest next door, just like they probably have always done."
"Your father is right," said their Mother. "Maybe we can watch them sometimes if we don't scare them away."
The next day Mary and Shannon watched for a sign of the foxes as they played ball in the front yard. They never saw the animals, and they were unaware that the two foxes blended into the trees and bushes, enjoying their view of the girls running and giggling.
"They seem like nice girls," the female fox said. She nuzzled her mate affectionately with her nose.
He nuzzled her back. "I think so, too," he finally agreed. "But we can't take a chance of letting them see us. You know we can’t trust humans not to hurt us or kill us, no matter how nice they look."
She sighed regretfully. "I know. And they are probably as scared of us as we are of them!"
The girls went into the house so the two foxes left to try to find some food and water, which was becoming harder to find as people moved in around them. They were competing with the deer and other wild animals.