Wednesday, 9 May 2012


John and the family were away camping at the weekend at Arduaine, Loch Melfort.  They had a visitor to their campsite - a fox. (These are John's pictures.)

This animal has never been domesticated and yet is not really a wild animal either.  While mostly associated with slyness and cleverness, I always think of a fox more as a marginal animal .... and this photo is a good example as it shows the animal lurking on the fringe of the camping area.  In literature I seem to recall the fox being used as a symbol, or a name given, for people who live on the margins of society.

This stunning photo reminds me of lines from D H Lawrence's short story The Fox where 2 women are struggling on a farm in rural England about 1919 and they have a problem with a fox.  I vividly recall the lines about them having eyeball to eyeball contact with this fox:

"For he had lifted his eyes upon her and his knowing look entered her brain. She did not so much think of him: she was possessed by him." [1] 

He was writing in the early days of psychological studies and psychoanalysis. This particular scene was all about willpower, i.e. who was going to get the better of whom.


[1] Source: Doris Lessing Guardian article of 2003.

[2] Wikipedia states: The word shenanigan (a deceitful confidence trick, or mischief) is considered to be derived from the Irish expression sionnachuighim, meaning "I play the fox".

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