Fox or Fiction

My dear reader,

Today, I learned about fox hunts. Fox hunting is a sport that brings together experienced humans, horses, and hounds in a hunt to chase down and kill an unsuspecting fox. To begin the games, the hounds (note, NOT dogs, hounds are specifically trained to hunt) are given the scent of a fox. Experienced riders mount their horses and pursue the hounds as the hounds pursue the fox. The hounds will frantically run in a pack negotiating twists and turns as the riders cling to their horses in the hunt. If the hounds succeed in their hunt, then the fox dies and the race to the death reaches its end. If the hounds lose the scent, they will slow their run and then stop, signalling that the hunt is over and the fox is free. The last part of this interests me most — if the hounds lose the scent then they halt. The hounds are honest in their hunt. They will not lead their human masters astray; they will bring an end to the game if they are not fit to lead it. It is such an animal trait to abandon something with abandon. If humans were to lead the pack in a fox hunt, would they give up so easily? Would humans inform their riders that they lost the scent or would they run in vain hoping to pick it back up? Would the humans make up excuses as to why they lost the fox rather than blame their own ill-equipped human noses? Would the humans feel shame and embarrassment at having lost the creature? Humans are sometimes just so human, so full of complex emotions, motivation, and creativity. Of hounds and humans, a hound may lose a fox, but a human may lose himself finding it.



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