The fox nosed through the rubbish drifting against the scrubby hedge, lifting its head occasionally to sniff cautiously at the air. Ideally, he was after the remains of a Bargain Bucket or some other treat from the Colonel, but would make do with a morsel of burger or kebab if that's all that was on offer. Today, he was out of luck; it was mainly cigarette packets, empty cans and a few copies of the local free paper.
Oh well, it was still early and his rounds took in several other locations where the pickings might be greater, if one of his competitors hadn't beaten him to it. Deregulation had hit him hard; in the old monopolistic days, he could saunter around for an hour and fill his belly. Now, a group of young foxes had taken over the McDonald's concession and he'd heard that badgers had been seen in town cosying up to the proprietors of the ethnic restaurants. It was becoming harder and harder to gain the nutrients required to maintain a glossy coat and his once-magnificent brush was now a little threadbare. Worse than badgers and others of his own species, though, were the cats with their malevolent eyes staring out of their flat faces. Hissing, spitting, pissing, shitting – that was felines; every corner he turned, there they were, mocking him, taunting him, goading him, remarking on his overwhelming gingerness. Wherever he went, they’d always been there first and helped themselves to the choicest fare. The town stank of their presence.
Maybe it was time to leave the cat race and retire to the country.