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Note to self: don’t piss off Farmer Brown


Okay, I’m no Marlin Perkins, but I’m pretty sure that there’s a fox. And I’m damn sure it’s dead. And I do not believe foxes habitually climb trees to die, ergo…the French must have perfected the foxapult at last.


We drove over to see Farmer Brown (not his real name) this afternoon. Mrs Farmer Brown, actually. Very important people ’round these parts (we invited them to our wedding on the general principle of suckuppery). As we turned into the lane, we saw this jaunty fellow smiling at us from the hedge. I didn’t ask, but I would guess the country folk regard corpse-festooning as a deterrent to others.

Between you and me, I doubt it has the slightest effect on fox behavior. Makes the farmer feel better, at most. If the gibbet didn’t work on people, with our honking huge fearful brains, what is this supposed to do for Mister Sneakyboots McCleverpants?

Our local town still has a cage gibbet, by the way. And a pillory. Neither has been used in a couple of centuries, but there’s a piece of the last guy still stuck in the gibbet. I think you have to make an appointment to see it. I don’t know. It’s busy, I guess.


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: March 31, 2009, 7:48 pm

Heh. From the Wikipedia article on Marlin Perkins:

Because Walt Disney had fabricated footage of a mass suicide of lemmings in its film White Wilderness, CBC (at that time) journalist Bob McKeown asked Marlin Perkins if he had done the same. Perkins, then in his eighties, “firmly asked for the camera to be turned off, then punched a shocked McKeown in the face.”

Comment from Mrs. Peel
Time: March 31, 2009, 7:55 pm

Too bad the camera was off. When I need a pick-me-up, Buzz Aldrin punching the snot out of that Moon landing truther guy always does the job.

Also, is it true that foxes stink? All the books say so, but I’ve never been close enough to one to find out.

Comment from Phineas
Time: March 31, 2009, 8:11 pm


Comment from Jill
Time: March 31, 2009, 10:01 pm

Marlin Perkins was HOT.
Okay, not really hot. But 80 and punching out reporters?
That, at least, rocks.

Comment from Bob
Time: March 31, 2009, 10:11 pm

Mrs. Peel, I’m sure at the above depicted stage of decay, foxes smell pretty awful. The one living fox that I met certainly did not stink.

Does anybody know if subordinate male Oregon short-tailed weasels pull the hair out of their tails, like squirrells do? I saw a very weaselly critter the other day, except its tail was bald.

It was much too fast to be a baby nutria.

Comment from jwpaine
Time: March 31, 2009, 10:46 pm

Hmmmm. Gibbet. Giblets.

Coincidence? Or Awesome Truth?!

Comment from Mrs. Peel
Time: March 31, 2009, 11:09 pm

Hmm, ok. Supposedly, foxes are like super-musky or something.

ugh, nutria *shudders*

Comment from Mrs. Hill
Time: March 31, 2009, 11:14 pm

“there’s a piece of the last guy still stuck in the gibbet”

A gobbet?

Mrs. Peel,
I remember the boys in Kipling’s Stalky & Co. referring to the “stink of fox” — if Kipling wrote it, it must be true!

Comment from scubafreak
Time: April 1, 2009, 1:28 am

We’ve actually had a BIG upswing in the fox population around the scubapit. Actually, prior to coming back fromt he navy, I had never seen one in the wild. Now, they are EVERYWHERE! I was driving to my folks house sunday evening and one shot across the road in front of me and levetated across a combination ditch – fence – Rosebush to disappear in the field.

The one that was stalking Schroedinger a month or so ago ended up mysteriously dead on the side of the road (no, it wasn’t me) about a week later, and there are at least 3 dens out near my brothers house.

Believe me, the population of foxes is NOT suffering in Colorado.

Comment from Gibby Haynes
Time: April 1, 2009, 6:05 am

Round here we have the occasional ‘Fight prejudice. Fight the ban’ sign. Maybe the dead fox is an anti-fox-hunting-ban protest. Afterall, nothing says, ‘This is what I think of your law’ than a dead critter perched in a tree.

Comment from Gnus
Time: April 1, 2009, 10:21 am

I can think of some critters I’d like to see dead and perched in a tree. If it was up to me, the cherry trees in DC would be festooned with ’em.

Comment from Nicholas the Slide
Time: April 1, 2009, 1:16 pm

the French must have perfected the foxapult at last.

This is a step up from the cowapult, I’d think. Smaller, but more ferocious and accurate.

Comment from JuliaM
Time: April 1, 2009, 1:21 pm

“…is it true that foxes stink?”

Oh, yes. Very much yes. Like musky burning rubber, actually.

Well, not so much them, as their scent glands and what comes out of them. They often mark their territory (my garden) and le arome du reynard is very pungent and quite unmistakable.

Comment from JuliaM
Time: April 1, 2009, 1:23 pm

“…And I do not believe foxes habitually climb trees to die…”

Leopards drag their kills into trees, though. 😉

Comment from jwpaine
Time: April 1, 2009, 1:30 pm


I never saw a fox while growing up in Colorado, but since returning to the state 10 years ago (after a 30-year absence), I’ve seen three.

Another odd observation: I recall dead skunks on every highway when I was a kid; they were usually no more than 5 miles apart, so most journeys were an immersion in skunk-stink. I’ve only noted 3-4 dead skunks in the 10 years since my return.

Comment from scubafreak
Time: April 1, 2009, 1:49 pm

Yes, I think that the Raccoons have been pushing them out. Also, lately the Coyote’s have become alot more agressive towards people, especially young kids and people walking pets. There have been a number of attacks on pets ON THE LEASH since a trapping ban came into effect…..

Comment from jwpaine
Time: April 1, 2009, 2:05 pm

“A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy.”

You can’t save the coyotes, scubafreak, without sacrificing a few kids, but despair not! In the grand scheme of things, kids (at least the males) are of no greater value than pigs, rats, and dogs.

Comment from Nicholas the Slide
Time: April 1, 2009, 2:35 pm

There have been a number of attacks on pets ON THE LEASH since a trapping ban came into effect…

Gee, I wonder why…? [/iSarc]

Comment from David Gillies
Time: April 1, 2009, 3:48 pm

Foxes are pretty smelly, but what is worse is fox crap. Humans do not have the most acute sense of smell of all mammals, but you can smell fox scat from dozens of yards away. Dogs like to roll in crap, the filthy beasts, and if one of yours ever rolls in fox turds, believe me the ride home in the car will be one of the longest journeys of your life.

Comment from jwpaine
Time: April 1, 2009, 7:21 pm

They also love to roll in any decayed corpses they happen to find. I used to use the family Labrador retriever for a headrest while watching TV from the floor, but he was rarely usable, owing to the not-rare-enough dead sheep and cows in various stages of decomposition around the ranch.

Comment from Anonymous
Time: April 2, 2009, 1:20 am

Gotcha beat, jwpaine. Maxine, my incredibly lovable, yet incredibly stupid lab, found the corpse of a whale on the beach. And boy howdy, did she ever roll around in it. She was coated with dead and rotting whale blubber. Stunk for days, she did.

Comment from XBradTC
Time: April 2, 2009, 1:20 am

Crap, that was me.

Comment from Bob
Time: April 2, 2009, 10:04 pm

Of course, the fox I met was a pet, well-groomed and had a pink rhinestone collar. So I guess I couldn’t say if wild ones stunk or not.

My bloodhound smells like corn chips.

Comment from tiffany
Time: August 17, 2009, 2:41 am

dslgj fler fs

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