Coming home late from work last night, I encountered the two foxes which have, for the past few weeks, been freaking me out with their late night clamouring. For the fox, and some people too, January is a month of unrest. Aside from it being the peak of the mating season, it is also when all the juvenile foxes born last year suddenly find themselves being driven out of their parents’ territory (and so, into other foxes’ territories) as the cold weather makes resources scarcer. The two foxes I now found myself faced with had spent the best part of the last month coupling and defending their territory. Both of which tasks they have deemed to do as noisily as possible.
Fair enough I suppose. I’m all for a bit of noisy coupling and territory defending myself, and can be found doing either or both day and night all year round if I get my way. However, where my problem lies with the foxes engaging in such pursuits is in the nature of their cry. For a song of love, it is pretty spine chilling, and sounds rather like a surprised and frightened woman being mugged (don’t worry readers, I’m not actually just idly lying in bed listening to women being mugged. Probably). If that’s spiked your interest, Margoschis' 1972 recording near the bottom of this page captures the spirit and sound excellently (it really kicks in after around 30 seconds). Of a fox that is, not a woman being mugged (I don’t have such links to hand). For those of you fortunate enough to never have heard a woman expressing her disapproval at being violently mugged nor a mating fox but unfortunate enough not to have access to speakers right now, I’d say that the howling noise used on the Yorkshire Moor in An American Werewolf In London offers a pretty good comparison.
So, anyway, last night. Like I said, it was late and so I decided I’d put a pre-emptive stop to any later funny business. Being January, their fine winter coats were in full effect, but I chose to ignore their splendour and instead manfully got to work. As I closed in, they looked at each other wistfully, and then back at me, fast approaching and rolling up my newspaper in anticipation.
They began to trot. I began to trot, resisting an urge to imitate a hunting horn with my rolled up copy of The Times or shout “tally ho”, but rather wishing I was wearing a red coat. I masterfully employed my herding skills to dissect the pair (fear not animal lovers: I am employing the terminology of the shepherd, not the vivisectionist, here), and drove one towards Holloway Prison, and the other to the far side of the grounds of Tufnell Park Towers. There is no match for my cunning.
Pleased with my evening's work, I entered Tufnell Park Towers to boast of my achievements.
Housemate Louise barely glanced up from the television.
“You’re just jealous of them,” was all the praise I received.
Shamefaced, I retired to my lonely room.
Outside, the triumphant cry of an orgasming fox rang out across the night.
4 weeks ago