Saturday, November 28, 2015

Of Fox Traps and Fiction

Fox Traps

We got the fox traps in the mail yesterday. The Bear was, frankly, horrified. They looked exactly what you imagine a Bear trap looks like, only smaller, with the trigger plate in the middle of two metal semicircles that pry apart and are delicately held that way until SNAP! Reynard steps in the wrong place and his leg is gently gripped with the rubberized arms.

The Bear can hardly stand looking at the picture.

Actually, at its current setting, it snaps chopsticks in two. The Bear doesn't mind trapping the chicken-killing fox, but isn't sure he wants to wander out to find a howling fox with a broken leg. There's a way to set the force of the trap, supposedly, but, at the moment, color the Bear skeptical. Fox hunting is on hold for the time being. The Bear is thinking we should have gotten a cage trap.

The Bear was delighted that his wife found an old short story the Bear had written, entitled "The Funeral Disaster Story." It's a wry distillation of Sicily, or perhaps, Sicilians, at least the Bear's view of his years there. Lot's of flavor, and true to its title, although not, perhaps, as you might expect. It starts something like this:

The Funeral Disaster Story

Filippo Martoglio and Guiseppe Grimaldi hated each other all their lives. God decreed, therefore, that their sons would be unable to claim one had outlived the other by so much as a breath. Through humble instruments such as The Red Man, a group of German tourists, and Movimento Socialista Italiano candidate Alfio Drago, their feud was brought to a decisive and holy end. It was both a disaster and a miracle, very much like every day in Sicily.

The circumstances surrounding the deaths of Belpasso's two most eminent citizens were remarkable enough, and remark the good people of the town did. The entire community joined together to embroider the facts of the common catastrophe, and the history of their rivalry, until the epic lay over the town like a fantastic tapestry those two long Sicilian summer days before the funerals. But as sure as amen follows nunc in hora mortis, each conversation would end with a sigh and an acknowledgement that at least now it was finally over.

Everyone was wrong.

More to come. It will be posted as a PDF with the other fiction, in the right-hand column.


  1. Bear,
    I'd like to suggest an alternative to the trap. Go to the Google search engine and type in this title, "How We (Humanely) Got Rid of Pesky Foxes" in the google search engine and click on the article from It should be at the top of your search results.

    Anyway, I've used this method to keep the deer and other forest creatures from eating the vegetables from my garden. I employ the services of my bear spouse who makes his contribution in an empty milk container for future distribution by me because he loves my vegetables (bears are omnivores) and more than happy to have a few beers.

    I don't know if this will work for foxes. They're smart and are used to the smell of humans in an urban environment. There are pros and cons on the web. I know that for my forested environment it works for deer and rabbits but you have to be conscientious about it. Good luck.

    1. The Bear is feeling reluctant to pursue this "contribution" business, but will pass the information along to Red Death.

    2. Besides, are you suggesting that the Bear is not properly marking his territory already??!! ;-)

  2. Bear,
    I think that you will have to check with the chickens about that!


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