Tuesday, January 31, 2006

A Cute Little Heart Breaker

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.

13 comments:

AnonymousCoworker said...

Were you trying to cockblock a fox?

Me Over Here said...

For such beautiful creatures, their mating cries sure are scary. Way to exercise your fox-dissecting prowess, honey. (gently strokes your ego). I'M proud of you.

Afe said...

I find that trying to mate with the foxes generally scares them away. Not sure if I've got the mating call down pat yet.

Ivy the Goober said...

I guess I pictured you in a city, Huw. Do you live in the country? Or are there foxes in the city? I'm confused.

Tim-tambolini said...

Have you actually been on the Yorkshire Moor? I recently read one of my childhood favorite novels "The Secret Garden" to my son and of course there is lots of description of the Yorkshire Moor, as well as a bunch of Yorkshire speak that I had a hard time speaking. I'm curious about the Moor...could you shed some light?

Curly said...

AnCo -I'm actually crying, It's a shame that isn't a big UK term. Did you know that the fenale equivalent is a Bitch Snitch?

Foxes are silly, I convcined one that I was a lady fox once - I was in the safe venue of a tent though. Maybe it was the fact that the tent smelt of barbequed meat, I don't know.

Dancinfairy said...

You can't beat foxes - they are sly and cunning! I am amused at the thought of you running around chasing foxes with a rolled up paper!

Lauren said...

"The triumphant cry of an orgasming fox rang out across the night."

Freakin' hilarious. Love it.

Will Shady said...

Wow. That is crazy. Better luck next time. At least they're foxes and not elk or mountain lions.

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Just think: In a few months there will be six or seven of them. Better look into getting that red coat.

Huw said...

AnonCo - If I have to go without, so does everyone else. It's a foxhound in the manger thing.

MoH - Even the prettiest of creatures can have ferocious mating calls. So I hear.

Ivy - "there are more foxes in London than in the rest of the UK combined." I just made that fact up, but it's the sort of fact I'd easily believe if someone told it to me.

Tammy - 'Fraid my Moor experience is pretty low. What did you wish to know? My only first hand experience of Yorkshire is their cities.

Will - I like a challenge...

LĂ©onie said...

Yorkshire Moors = EXACTLY like they're described in The Secret Garden, only colder. But particularly the 'wuthering' sound of the wind as it comes off the moor.

I am slightly shocked that you would want to trample on young love like that. Especially with a copy of The Times. And without the ritual donning of a red coat.

How would YOU feel? Poor foxes.

(oh, and what does 'cock block' mean?)

Anonymous said...

I lived in Dublin before and thought one night that someone was trying to break into my kitchen making a furious racket. Nervously, i peeped out my window and saw the scariest creature I've ever seen. Two heads, lots of legs and it was spinning around in circles clicking like mad. I then put on my glasses and saw two foxes jammed together arse to arse. I found out later that they can sometimes get stuck after mating. I'll never forget it though...

Jen