The spy fox

Country Life Every Week - - Country Life 1897–2017 -

H. A. R. [KIM] PHILBY wrote ‘A Fox that Came to Stay’ (in his Beirut res­i­dence) a month be­fore he fled to Moscow. His es­say was in a tra­di­tion that reg­u­larly saw let­ters about foxes, bad­gers and other un­usual an­i­mals kept as pets. ‘We first saw her at the age of about four weeks. She was al­ready look­ing pro­nouncedly foxy, with a long snout end­ing in a pol­ished black nose, huge ears and a grace­fully curv­ing brush.

‘She was friendly and play­ful, flop­ping af­ter us and chew­ing our shoes. The first thing that struck us was that she proved as­ton­ish­ingly easy to teach, cer­tainly eas­ier than the av­er­age puppy.

‘She has dis­cov­ered whisky, by leap­ing onto the bar, break­ing a bot­tle and lap­ping up the con­tents. She also likes suck­ing the stem of a pipe’ (De­cem­ber 6, 1952).

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