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The fox and the Hounds!


Newtownards, United Kingdom

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A photograph taken over 30 something years ago at the Dublin home of an old friend of ours, Zita with one of her foxes and two of her Afghans.. Tia (just been told it isn’t Tia it’s Kira! i never get anything right …once when I got something right I was marked wrong anyway!). and Rourke. The fox’s name was Bee.. I think that’s how she spelt it.

Bee and her companion fox , whose name escape’s me, (‘citation required refer to Wikipedia’) were rescued by Zita and her husband Brian as cubs and brought up with the hounds . They led a very long and mischievous life, well into the 10’s, unlike if they had still been in the wild.

I’m going to try to relate one of Bee’s adventure’s as told to me (to the best of my memory.. because drink was taken!) by Brian and Zita… Now it may not be accurate. I may have to email this page to them for correction and also even if, I was stood ,still, standing , before you ..relating the story.. I could never do it justice anyway, as I don’t have that lovely soft Dublin accent of my friends, so you’ll have to imagine the voice.

It was Zita and Brians ..(you will notice perhaps I alternate the order of Brian and Zitas names, as God forbid I should ever be accused of making fish of one and flesh of the other! I stand for equality and men should be allowed to take their place at the front. Ahm!……I don’t mean the WW1 or Russian front or anything of that nature, just the order of etiquette.) ..custom of an evening of letting the foxes out of their run.. …or if you want to split hairs …an earth… except it wasn’t an earth, it was more like a very comfortable kennel for small dogs or wily foxes.

Just like any other ‘normal’ household in the western world, they settled down for the evening, lovely warm fire in the hearth, feet up, ‘Corrie’ on the box, ‘Zee’ on the settee, Brian on the chair, cigarette in hand.

Cigarette in hand ! Now there’s your problem!

Bee either had an umbrage against burning tobacco or she was very concerned about Brian’s health. She had developed the habit of ‘sneaking’ up on Brian (Foxes are the tops at sneaking!… No! ..Scrub that.. I know a few people would give them a run for there money!) and pinching the smoky thing from his mouth.
It was play time for Bee…Brian would give chase …and fun would be had!

Only this time!

Bee ran up the chimney!

Brian, with situation assessment and reaction that only Kryptonite could have stopped, grabbed the hearth rug, threw it on the fire, while simultaneously reaching up the chimney and grabbed the demon by the brush (tail)! In one swift flick tossed the suffocating Bee… to Zee… and rushed outside with the now blazing hearth rug to practise his native American rain dance and New Zealand Haka!

As the rug sobered, and the smoking remnants subsided , Brian duly hung the remains over the garden fence to cool. He sat down to regain the normal blood pressure , while ‘Zee’ duly gave the instigating culprit , the ‘wishy washy’s ‘

Brian sat in reflection …his gaze transferred to the garden…the soft skyline of an evening , was only broken by the orange reflection of the fence that threatened to engulf three quarters of Dublin and make the greatest, biggest fire since the ‘Great Fire of London’ (does that make me the equivalent of Sammy Pepes?)

Thank God for garden hoses.

Minolta X-300 or possibly Practica BC-3 on maybe T-Max or Ilford 100. Scanned from a print on account I can’t find the Neg!


Artwork Comments

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