Red Fox

Red Fox : The Story of His Adventurous Career in the Ringwaak Wilds and of His Final Triumph Over the Enemies of His Kind

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THERE has been so much criticism lately 0f the methods of the writers of "animal stories," and more particularly of their "pernicious" habit of investing their four-footed heroes and heroines with human. if not superhuman attributes that the appearance of this new volume by Mr. C. G. D. Roberts aroused in us a lively curiosity. Mr. Roberts is an old offender in the eyes of the naturalists, and the question immediately rose-had lie mended his ways in consequence of the scathing rebukes administered by those who believe that animals are not proper subjects for idealization? Secretly, it must be confessed, we hoped he had not, for we are still old-fashioned enough to cherish fairytales and desire "animal stories" of the imaginative variety. For a moment we feared that the shafts of the critics had struck home. "The incidents in the career of this particular fox," says Mr. Roberts in a prefatory note, "are not only consistent with the known characteristics and capacities of the fox family, but there is authentic record of them all in the accounts of careful observers." Immediately we had visions of foot-notes. textual references even of a critical bibliography. But, a few lines more and confidence returned. "As for any emotions which Red Fox may once in a great while seem to display these may safely be accepted by the most cautions as fox emotions, not as human emotions." Then, after all, there were to be emotions? We hurriedly turned the page and plunged into one of the most delightful tales of wood-life and wood-craft we have come across in many a day.
It is simply the story of the career of a Canadian fox. But as it is told, with the whirring of insects in the calm summer air, the crackling of branches snapping in the winter frost, the meetings-friendly and otherwise-of the small folk and the great folk of the forest, it is enough to send any healthy boy to the nearest patch of woods to study the ways of nature, while in every man it must arouse pleasant memories of the days when he was a boy and lived in the fairyland which boys forget all too soon. "The Athenaeum" is none too eulogistic when it says of "Red Fox" "It has the fascination of a real jungle story. without owing any apparent debt to Mr. Kipling.... There are scores of touches of real nature-touches only possible as the result of close and patient watching-in the story of Red Fox's puppyhood and in such incidents as his captivity and hunting methods." Even the staid "Nation" is moved to declare: "We accept Red Fox as the flower of his race, even though he may belong to the order Compositae." And, with The Nation, we would add that "Mr. Roberts appears to tell his story chiefly for its own sake, but he impresses us quite as deeply as if he had tried to enforce it by didacticism. We feel, for instance, with the rabbit and mink, the barbarity of trapping, and take the fox's point of view when we see the field of scarlet riders and bear the loud-mouthed pack on the trail."
This last is the final incident of the tale, and it leaves us with a strong hope that someday Mr. Roberts will give us more of the adventures of Red Fox. For we cannot believe that Red Fox will linger in the barren mountain regions. He is certain, ultimately to make his way back to the forests, the meadows and the farms of the Ringwaak country. And when he does return we shall expect to hear again of him and his mate, and of Jabe Smith and the Boy.
-"The Literary Digest," Volume 32 [1906]"
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Product details

  • Paperback | 358 pages
  • 152.4 x 228.6 x 20.57mm | 607.81g
  • Createspace
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1508475121
  • 9781508475125

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52 ratings
4.11 out of 5 stars
5 44% (23)
4 31% (16)
3 21% (11)
2 0% (0)
1 4% (2)
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