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Feeling Foxy? June 20, 2010

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Life, Chatter & Politics, Wordy Business.
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fox

(Image from here)

I did something silly yesterday. I walked home from Roisin’s, at about half past 11. It was dark, and a Saturday night, and the town was jam-packed with drunk scantily clad girls, and burly lairy guys. They were rolling out of the doors of all the bars and clubs, moving onto the next generation, and I slalommed my way through the centre of town, avoiding the clusters of excited students, and stepping gently around the huge and sour-faced bouncers who seemed to be everywhere.

This part of the journey was alright. It was only once I had wandered into the housing estate that offers the cut through to the street I am on that I though about what I was doing. My first thought was about the girl who disappeared a couple of weeks ago in Leamington, and whose body was sadly found the other day. She was my age, a pretty thing, and her disappearance has stunned the town more than a little. Although a man is in custody under suspicion of the murder, I suddenly thought that there I was, a young girl walking alone in the dark through a very quiet area – exactly the sort of set up that we are recommended against since childhood.

By this point I was worrying my poor little brain, and the presence of the dark itself was starting to get to me. I hate the shadows and pitch black anyway, they make me feel scared, terrified by the possibility that anything could be hiding out of sight. As the adrenaline started pumping, the psychological effect was that the darkness felt like it was creeping ever closer, defying the puddle of light that spilled from the streetlamps.

 The third thing that scared me was the fox. It was a down a side street I passed, sitting stock still in the center of the road, a pointy-earred silhouette looking straight at me. I stopped, crouched down, and stared right back, as I am unable to resist a staring contest with any type of animal (oh – and I always win…). After about 5 minutes it moved away, before stopping stock still again to stare right into my eyes. It was beautiful, and under normal circumstances I would have been thanking my lucky stars that I had got to see such a sight.

However, the problem is that I have been reading a lot of books about China and Japan recently. I devour books like these, stories of Geishas and courtesans. On recurring theme is the spirit of foxes, which are always negative. Sometimes they are omens, sometimes pollutants, often shape-shifting spirits back to haunt the living. With my mind still firmly rooted in my fiction, the appearance of a fox when I was already scared was really badly timed!

I have to admit, I ran the rest of the way home. Thank god for my new trainers!

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