Monday, 3 November 2014


In the old days his life was a hard’un,
but now the Fox gets in the garden,
where he generally craps
after eating the scraps,
without saying ‘Thank you’ or ‘Pardon.’


Foxes are notorious for their cunning. There are two common ways of supplying electricity to an electric railway engine (you’ll see what I’m on about in a minute): most countries use an overhead catenary cable with a pantograph on the engine’s roof to pick up the current. The other way is via a third rail, the electricity being picked up by a metal ‘shoe’ sliding along it. The third rail system has many disadvantages and is quite unsuitable for any country with high rainfall, snow, and deciduous trees growing near the track. Guess which method British Railways used when they introduced electric trains, starting with the Southern Region, my home area. When the local foxhunters chased a fox towards the line on one occasion, the fox leapt over the live rail and escaped, but the pursuing hounds blundered into it and were electrocuted. Now I don’t think it was cunning, just luck, and I felt some Schadenfreude  when I heard about it, though of course it’s very sad that the poor hounds should die for the unspeakable would-be upper-class poseurs who chase foxes.

Here is a picture of a fox in a tricky situation which he will need all his cunning to get out of:

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