is my favourite Christmas tree bauble. I can't remember where I found him but he comes out year after year with all the rest.
Mr Fox has a special resonance for me.
Christmas was a low key event in my rather unorthodox upbringing. For the first 5 years of my life we lived in a small farmstead in the hills. It was a postwar, mid-century, socially isolated, existence, just the three of us - I had no siblings and there were no neighbours nearby, we had no car and the road was just a rough track around the valley. My playground was the hills and fields, my playmates were animals. My father had no family living and my mother was barely in touch with hers. We rarely had visitors and I had little contact with other children save for those I glimpsed in the village 2 miles distant or on scattered farms roundabout.
Christmas was not something I was even aware of as an event, religious or otherwise, although I suppose my parents celebrated it in some fashion: they always welcomed an excuse for a slightly more indulgent meal.
Santa Claus did not feature.
My first memory of the festival dates from the year I was 4, or maybe 5. As I headed for the stairs with my mother (lamp in hand) at bedtime, my father asked me if I knew what day it was tomorrow - no I said. It's Christmas Day! he said. There will be presents. And so there were, not only from my parents but from all the cats and other animals too. Small things mostly but one larger item remained, hanging from a bacon hook above my head. Mr Fox got you a clockwork train set, I was told. It was the one thing I really wanted ( I was never a girly girl). But it doesn't work, it will have to go back. Bad Mr Fox!
I never even saw it, I suppose my parents returned it to the shop, but it wasn't replaced and I never did have a train set.
You can't trust foxes.