Meli asked Alexander McCall Smith:

I love that your characters live such examined lives. I've become a fan of all things 'fox', thanks to Brother Fox. I'm not sure, but feel he's pretty introspective too. We don't have foxes where I live, but I wonder if they aren't typically more aggressive. I like that he's not when in their yard, though. What does he represent to you in these books?

Alexander McCall Smith Brother Fox represents nature.The foxes round us here in Edinburgh are not aggressive - they tend to be quite shy. AMcS

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