The story…

Gaspard the friendly fox

Learn language related to…


Need-to-know language

unlikeliest of friendships – friendship between those who would not normally be expected to be friends

blossoming – (of friendship) growing, developing and becoming stronger

befriended – made friends with

become familiar with – get to know something or someone well

trusting – willing to trust people; believing they are good and will not harm or deceive

Answer this…
What did Zeb realise when he met Gaspard’s cubs?


It’s the unlikeliest of friendships, and one which has been blossoming over the last year, between a neighbourhood fox and a BBC newsreader. Zeb Soanes, familiar to many who listen to the Today programme and the Shipping Forecast, befriended the animal one evening after work.

Zeb Soanes, broadcaster and author
There was this beautiful little fox, just here… with an injured leg, and it was the most beautiful fox that you’ve ever seen. It was like a Disney fox. And I had some wafer-thin ham, I think, brought down and gave it to the fox. And then a couple weeks later the fox was back, completely better – and has visited ever since.

As the fox started to become more familiar with Zeb, he decided to name him Gaspard.

Zeb Soanes, broadcaster and author
There was something incredibly trusting about this fox, and it was comfortable enough to come really close to me. And… there was something magical about him.

Gaspard allowed Zeb to photograph him, the best of which he posted on social media.

It wasn’t until Zeb met Gaspard’s cubs that he realised the ‘he’ was a ‘she’.

We didn’t think that we’d catch a glimpse of Gaspard and her family, but as we were getting ready to go, this happened. And soon after, her cub appeared too.

Zeb Soanes, broadcaster and author
It’s amazing in this busy city to have this connection with something so wild, and I never take it for granted. The fox could decide not to arrive tomorrow, but it keeps turning up and I hope it still does.

Did you get it?

What did Zeb realise when he met Gaspard’s cubs?

Zeb realised that Gaspard was a female.

Did you know?

It is estimated that the UK has approximately one urban fox for every 300 human residents. With a human population of around 65 million people, that’s just over 200,000 foxes!

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