After brainstorming my Urban Fox story over the weekend, I now have a treatment I am very happy with. I plan to submit it to The Alpine Fellowship competition as it is a very good fit for this year’s theme Untamed: On Wilderness and Civilization.
Helen runs a support group for people suffering from Alepouphobia, the irrational fear of Foxes (a word I had to invent). She introduces three new members – Joe, Frank and Burney – encouraging them to open up, to share their stories of their encounters with Urban Foxes.
- For as long as Joe can remember, he has dreamt of moving from the dull countryside to the big bad city, with all its glamorous opportunities. But a recent encounter with an Urban fox has left him confused, troubled, his work suffering. Has he truly left the countryside behind him? Can they help him overcome his fears and build a life for himself in the city?
- Frank grew up in the city. He hates foxes and always has, blaming one for the untimely death of his sister. For years he has aspired to hunt them down, destroy them. He fantasises about the the well born, sitting on horseback, riding to hounds. But after having finally (if accidentally) killed a fox, he has found only depression. What’s wrong with him? What truths could he be hiding about his sister’s death?
- Burney is a lost soul. Job after job: cleaning, security work, begging when necessary. Living from hand to mouth, sleeping rough. But ever since finding a fox high in the office block he was supposed to be cleaning, Burney is a changed man, spending his days handing out leaflets and promoting his new Political party: Vote Fox. Creatures as resourceful as these, surely they should get their chance to be in charge, to run things?
With Helen’s guidance, can they help each other recognise what their true issues are and come up with ways to deal with them?
Instead of blaming Urban Foxes for being in the wrong place, perhaps their real problems stem from their own lack of contact with their roots, with the wildness from which – ultimately – we all come.