They’ve been considered since time immemorial, by every culture that encountered them, as the craftiest, trickiest, least trustworthy of all living things¹; born deceivers, masters of untruths and illusions, foxes manage to deal with their reputation via the simple expedient of not really giving a shit what you think of them. They define reality on their own terms, and screw you if you don’t like it². It’s possible that they grow out of it eventually, and it’s only the very young of their kind that are responsible for the popular image of wreaking havoc (perhaps accidentally, perhaps not).
- So imagine how devastating it must be to love one of them. Not merely be manipulated into falling for a fox, but to truly, deeply, madly love one. What would you do to keep that most capricious of creatures yours and yours alone? Terrible things, things that would never have occurred to you otherwise, things that leave a hole in your soul, and perhaps the world around you. Things — and this is the worst part — things that the fox doesn’t make you do, but things that you decided to do on your own. Things with consequences.
Nobody understands the delicate balance of the world, and the consequences that come about from disturbing it too greatly — like Emily Carroll. Her fairy tales, whether they take place in the far-off long-ago or the here-and-now, show us the menace, the darkness that comes of wanting things too much, acting too rashly, and giving in to your worst impulses.
The fox at the heart of The Hole The Fox Did Make (released today and stop whatever you are doing right goddamn now and go read it) is barely a presence; in his absence — in the aftermath of loving a fox — there are consequences a’plenty, and lessons to be learned. Chief among them: when a fox whispers in your ears with honeyed words, don’t pay too much heed, for foxes are capricious and care little for the pain they leave in their wake.
- You know who will never listen to the honeyed words of foxes? Bunnies. Know who draws a lot of bunnies these days? Dave Roman. And finally, Dave Roman pointed me to a tweet this morning by Eric Orchard that is relevant to the idea of foxes:
Fox & Duck, my new webcomic is now up! http://foxandduck.tumblr.com/page/2
There’s not much to Fox & Duck so far — a header and first-chapter splash illustration, a first page that leaves a marvelous, moody impression of dark magics (but not too dark), perhaps a curse or two. The fox and the duck haven’t made any appearances yet, but it appears that this fox is doing his best to get the duck back to a normal ducky state, wherein he doesn’t breathe fire or have devil horns. That would be reasonably un-foxlike behavior, and I for one am intrigued by this heterodox idea of what foxes are, and I’ll be keeping an eye on it.
- Okay, I’m really stretching the theme for the day, but don’t you think that Boulet looks a little like a fox? That red hair, and artists are all tricky, and I’d like to think that foxes have a French accent. Anyway, Boulet’s got a great little video talking about Augie and the Green Knight, with an even faster version of the sped-up watercolor video from the other day. Oh, and like all foxes, Boulet has a fib or two, but he gets caught out rather too easily to be a good fox. I’m torn as to whether or not I should encourage him to practice that or not.
Spam of the day:
Can’t find any. I think a fox stole it. So, uh, thanks I guess.
¹ Although I would argue that squirrels are definitely the biggest assholes in the forest animal métier.
² Trenchant, dry observation about how they are perhaps the perfect symbol for eponymous “news” organization.