The next morning a small group of foxes made their way through the Dark Forest. The Young Vixen and stood with Bel and the Old Fox as Vanda and the cubs disappeared with two muscular dog foxes.
‘It won’t be long, my dear’ the Old Fox had said to Vanda, ‘there are a few things that need to be done here, then it will be safe for you to return.’
Old Fox looked at the Young Vixen, ‘you should have gone with them.’
‘Now Fox,’ said Bel, ‘if they all disappear it will raise suspicions, Vanda’s skulk come from the other side of the forest, that is her home Earth, she will be safe and nobody will think anything about her going to stay there now Reynard has disappeared. Vanda’s skulk has a long history here in Woodland Trails, her disappearance would be a warning signal to Si.’
‘What’s happened to Reynard?’ said the Young Vixen
‘We don’t know,’ said Bel, ‘nothing good that’s for sure.’
‘I have to meet up with the Forest patrol later this afternoon,’ said the Old Fox, ‘maybe they will have some news.’
The Young Vixen stared at the Old Fox, she didn’t know if he was trying to give her hope or not. She spent the day with Bel giving her tasks to occupy herself with but that didn’t stop her thinking. Reynard was by no means perfect, a bit shady to say the least, she knew that. He had always hung out with the dodgy crowd ever since they were cubs. The only dog cub of the litter he had bullied his sisters including the Young Vixen. Now as young adult he thought he could run her life until she found a mate. Still he was her brother and she was worried for him.
The afternoon dragged by. The Young Vixen looked out of the boutique impatiently. Where was that scoundrel, Old Fox? Bel watched her. ‘It won’t make him come any quicker, dear.’
‘Oh, I know but…’
‘I need to know about Reynard.’
‘The Forest patrol might not have any news, but it is our only hope. Old Fox will get back as soon as he can.’
‘He is a bit of a mystery, isn’t he?’
‘Old Fox? Well, some of us know a few of his secrets.’
‘Would you tell me?’
The older vixen nodded, ‘but first we need tea. Tea makes a good gossip so much more exciting; don’t you think?’
The Young Vixen laughed ‘You sound just like my mother’ she said.
‘That is no surprise, my dear,’ Bel said as she went to make the tea, ‘she is my sister, Bel is the short form of Belinda.’
The Young Vixen stood statue still. Could this really be Belinda, her aunt who had disappeared just after the humans left.
©JG Farmer 2019