The Hunt

Over hedge and fence they race, hounds in the lead, redcoats and hangers-on following on horseback. The hunter’s horn fills the air, over barks and yelps, cries of “Tally Ho!” For this is England.

And then – their quarry is sighted and the chase is afoot. The hounds pick up the scent, and their prey is on the run, over open ground, across field, ditch and hedge, until cornered, exhausted, he stands his ground for the final, bloody, struggle.

It is, alas, short and one-sided as he is torn apart by the frenzied attack of those baying hounds. Then, as he breaths his last, the dogs are called off and the huntmaster, emotionless, delivers the coup de grace.

Then, a couple of youngsters – not even in their teens – are called forward, for this is their first hunt. All new boots and riding hats, the first time they have worn the red coat.

The master dips his finger into the red, hot still twitching corpse, and with a few words of encouragement – for this first kill will be long remembered – bloods the youths, the red of the blood matching that of their coats.

The huntmaster stoops again, and removes a Burberry baseball cap from the bloodied mess as a trophy. The first hunt of the 2009 season had been an unqualified success.

With fox hunting with dogs now a historical anachronism, there is a new prey. A prey for which their are no objections, no tears shed as Reynard is chased to his death. Urban Chav Hunting. Welcome to the new age.

I called the landed gentry at Countryside Alliance with my spunker of an idea. For reasons unknown, they didn’t share my enthusiasm. Humourless bastards.


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