If there was a prize awarded to an animal that has survived in the face of adversity it would surely go to the red fox, Vulpes vulpes. It has been hunted by hounds, slaughtered by game keepers and relentlessly destroyed by forestry workers. In addition to this catalogue of persecution its pelt was utilized by the fur trade to supply the demand of human vanity. The fox was present in the countryside long before man kept sheep or the advent of rearing game birds. (Notes from a
I echo these sentiments entirely. I saw my first fox when I was about six and there began a lifelong obsession with these wonderful enigmatic creatures. I was captivated by them: their colour; the way they move; everything. And the fact that the fox has survived and adapted in the face of such adversity makes this beautiful, spirited creature a true legend of our times.
There is something about the fox that brings out the best and worst in people. The fox is blamed for a whole catalogue of things and, ironically, they are usually things that us humans are guilty of on a much larger scale! Unlike humans, however, the fox would merely be acting according to instinct.
Hunting is a volatile subject with emotive feelings running high on both sides. A tradition that has been here for centuries was finally outlawed in February 2005 . . . Or was it? There have been many reports on the ineffectiveness of the ban, highlighting loopholes which the hunters are said to be using in order to flout the law and a pile of documented images which graphically show foxes still being hunted; still being killed by hounds.
I will return to this subject later but for now let’s just enjoy the beauty of Vulpes Vulpes. . . The one and only . . . incredible red fox!
Thanks to Paul for letting me use some of his superb images. Check out his website on the above link.
Now a bit about me!
I have two children. I used to be a primary school teacher but gave it up to look after for my mum who hasn’t been well. To be honest I don’t miss it at all. I increasingly found it to be far too structured and formal for my personality. The kids were always the best part of the job but they tended to get lost amongst all the paperwork and dos and don’ts of nowadays!
I have a degree in political science which I have found extremely useful throughout my life. I also have a qualification in photography and won a national competition a few years ago with some editorial shots. If I had my time again I would have loved to have been a wildlife photographer or documentary maker.
I have always had a passion for writing but never tended to follow anything through. I have lots of stories and poems tucked away upstairs, mostly about animals, the environment or for children, that I have never done anything about but I am determined now to sort them all out.
I joined a writing school towards the end of 2009, just two hours a week but those two hours were brilliant. I absolutely loved it: being with like minded people: being inspired
All my enthusiasm came flowing back. And whats great about writing is that I can do it here at home! And I’m older and wiser now. I stick at it!
I feel so honoured to be part of this book. It’s the first piece of work I have ever sent off and I can’t think of a more fitting introduction. I have always cared passionately about animals and environmental issues and to know that other people are going to be reading things that reflect my innermost feelings just blows me away. If my writing can encourage people to think and care a little bit more for this planet and all those that share it, then I’ve succeeded!