As I was putting up the electric fence to keep the caprioli (tiny barking deer) from eating what's left of the grapes, this guy runs across my path, literally, right through the vineyard. He paused to stare at me like "What the heck are you looking at?" then trotted on.
I call him Boots because his paws look dipped in ink. He's a European red fox. At night, he's been leaving little gifts shaped like a popular log-shaped chocolate confection of my youth. On the front porch. On the back porch. In the kitchen when I leave the door ajar at night. Last night, the sound of a wine bottle falling over downstairs woke me and I knew who'd done it.
In the morning, as I had coffee (after removing the poop from the kitchen) I heard a rustling in among the paper bags in one corner. Worried it was the fox (Do they have rabies in Europe? Answer: yes.) I carefully approached, only to find it was a big fat toad with golden eyes. The outside has it's way of coming in here. If even in the "stolen views" through our windows.
Or the bats that wing in and out of our bedroom on balmy nights.
At night, the death watch beetles in our roof beam tick tick tick, reminding me that the minutes, even here, are numbered. And that outside my grapes are ripening quickly.