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Happy Grey Fox Night

Grey Fox night? Don’t I mean Guy Fawkes Night? Well, let me fill you in.

And in a complete utter coincidence, we watched Disney’s “Fox and the Hound” yesterday. My, did I cry. If you haven’t seen it, check it out. It really is quite a lovely little story about the friendship between two unlikely friends, a fox named Tod and a hound dog named Copper in some Southern town where hunting is big. It actually could’ve been set in a pretty British town and have a completely different flavor.

Anyway, it left me quite pro-fox. Until by another sheer coincidence, I read “Chicken Licken” at bedtime, which outlines how a fox manages to lure quite a lot of poultry back to his family’s place for dinner (you know, the whole gang, including Henny Penny, Turkey Lurkey, Ducky Lucky — or not so lucky as it turns out) after they think the sky is falling and are looking to tell the king. No one was ever heard from again. It’s hard to believe this was the same benevolent creature depicted in the Disney film just hours before.

And so, if you feel moved to swap out the usual Guy Fawkes effigy for something more fox-like, well, go ahead. (Sorry, Tod.) Have a happy Grey Fox Night!

Remembering Bonfire Night

I’ll never forget my first Bonfire Night in the UK. Fireworks. Beer. Heavy rain. A big bonfire burning the effigy of a guy. All in remembrance of one Guy Fawkes.

Who? This guy.

George Cruikshank's illustration of Guy Fawkes, published in William Harrison Ainsworth's 1840 novel. Thank you, Wikipedia.

Guy Fawkes is best known as the brains behind the Gunpowder Plot, a failed plot by a small group of English Catholics to assassinate the Protestant King James, by blowing up Parliament with 36 barrels of gunpowder. The king was tipped off, foiling their plan on Nov. 5, 1605 and Fawkes was tortured and executed. He should not to be confused with this guy:

Yes, I did mistakenly think that it was Grey Fox Night that we were celebrating. Not so far fetched – we do have a Groundhog Day, now don’t we?

For me the 5th of November will always be Grey Fox Night.