It's only one of this year's cubs, but already old enough to be out by itself doing a bit of opportunistic hunting, honing its skills.
The house it broke into had a Buff Orpington hen and her brood of chicks inside - my flock replacements for next year. I heard the hen screaming, which is enough to wake me out of a sound sleep.
My heart sank when I saw the edge of the chicken wire lifted away, and a pile up of chicks in the corner. The hen was still screaming. She sounded frightened and angry at the same time. At least she was alive, as were some of the chicks.
The fox saw me and panicked. By this time Mike had handed me a .17 rifle and I dispatched the cub while it tried to dig its way back out. I had to wait until morning to see which birds had been injured.
I'm thrilled to report that, so far, there are no broken wings or legs, and all the chicks look alert if a little ruffled by their ordeal. There is a light dusting of feathers on the house floor, but most of them come from the mother who's sporting a rather bare neck.
The cub tried to supersize his meal and it backfired on him. It's a lesson he won't get a second chance to learn.