A grandmother with a fear of foxes had the shock of her life when she woke up in bed with a cub sitting on her chest.
Magistrate Mary Small felt something clawing at her face on Sunday morning.
Thinking it was just a cat, the 68-year-old opened her eyes slowly, to find a fox cub inches from her face staring down at her.
Brazen: This picture was taken seconds after the fox leapt off Mary Small's bed. She had awoken with the creature clawing at her face
She screamed in terror and shot from under the covers as the fox scampered.
It took Mary and her husband Tony 20 minutes to shoo the creature down the stairs and out of the house, but only after Tony had got a clear photograph of it sitting coolly by a leather armchair in their upstairs study.
Mary said she was 'terrified' and 'upset' about the whole ordeal, which took place at the couple's Victorian property in Bournville, Birmingham over the weekend.
She said: 'I thought it was a cat at first when I felt it clawing at my face. But when I opened my eyes and saw this fox sitting on my chest, I was pretty shaken up to say the least.
'Obviously things look bigger when they are closer to you, so it looked enormous when I came around. It was like a giant fox staring down at me.
'I just leapt from the covers and screamed, I've never moved so quickly.
'The scariest thing was it just appeared to be so fearless.'
She added: 'Tony's first instinct was to grab his camera rather than see if I was OK. He got a good picture though in our upstairs study.
'You can see him peeping out from behind the leather chair, he was a cheeky so and so.
'And even when we finally got him out of the house, he was pawing at the windows to come back in.
'They seem to have lost their fear of humans now, it is quite concerning.
Terror: Mrs Small said she screamed and 'had never moved so fast' when she woke to find a fox in her room
'They carry diseases too so I had to disinfect the whole house afterwards, I was worried for the children next door.'
The fox had somehow crept into the couple's kitchen, through their sitting room and up the stairs either around 6.15am on Sunday morning or the evening before, they believe.
'He must have got in when Tony went outside for his pipe or the night before - we just don't really know for sure,' added Mary.
'But he was very brave to come all the way through the house because it is quite a big place. It was very scary and I was pretty upset.
'After seeing the stories about people being bitten in London, I think I was quite lucky in the end.
'With recent urban developments around here there seems less green space for foxes to roam about in, so they seem to be getting braver and braver when it comes to interaction with humans.'
Tony, 69, who is retired, said: 'Mary was terrified. She's paranoid about foxes. It's a good job she initially thought it was a cat.'
Intruder: The fox may have got into the house in Bournville, Birmingham when Mr Small went outside to smoke his pipe. The couple disinfected the whole house as they were worried about diseases from the animal
The couple, whose son Julian lives in Dubai with his three children, believe the animal was only about three months old.
Tony added: 'I checked its gender because Mary was concerned it might have been a vixen and had given birth.
'We quite often get cats coming inside but not foxes. You just don't expect to see foxes roaming around urban areas during the day.
'It really shook Mary. She instantly had a shower because she was worried about having caught any diseases.'
The RSPCA said: 'Foxes are opportunists, searching for and defending areas with suitable food and shelter.
'They learn to trust people who are not causing them harm.'