Red Fox by Charles Geroge Douglas Roberts ; Illustrated by John Schoenherr ; Introduction by David McCord
Boston : Houghton, Mifflin Company, 1972. Hardcover. 187 pages ; Illustrated ; 22 cm. $4.95 dust jacket with minimal wear. Pages are clean and unmarked. Binding is firm.
CHARLES G. D. ROBERTS
Illustrated by John Schoenherr
Introduction by David McCord
It was a curious relationship. The Boy watched Red Fox, recognizing in this particular creature an exceptional intelligence and strength, a wisdom and courage that could only be respected and admired as he outwitted his natural enemies in the challenge of day-to-day survival. Leading the lusty hunters astray time and again, Red Fox by his very wit and wisdom outsmarted them with their spitting guns, yapping dogs, and powerful traps.
Seeming to sense the Boy's compassion and curiosity about wildlife and nature, Red Fox watched the Boy and in turn let the Boy observe him, realizing that the Boy, unlike other men, would never bring him harm. They seemed to have a pact.
Well known naturalist and nature writer Charles G. D. Roberts wrote the story of Red Fox near the turn of the century. A true-to-life story of the life cycle of a fox in the eastern Canadian wilds, it was then and remains today a dramatic adventure of survival, all the more fascinating for the nature and talents of this particular fox. Pitting his courage and judgment against the strategies of men and his natural enemies, Red Fox displays in every encounter the fortunate combination of instinct and training which enables him to survive.
The adventures of Red Fox are enhanced by the appealing illustrations of John Schoenherr, which, like the text itself, capture the authentic spirit of the wilderness that was his home.
SIR CHARLES G. D. ROBERTS (1860-1943), generally referred to as the father of Canadian literature was born near Fredericton, N.B., and graduated with honors (silver medal for Latin and Greek) from the University of New Brunswick at the age of nineteen. After a long career as teacher, headmaster, editor, journalist, poet, novelist, author of many volumes of remarkable animal stories, and as a sometime resident of New York and London, he died in Toronto. Critics accord him an assured place in poetry; particularly, as Professor Desmond Pacey of U.N.B. says, for his "simple descriptive lyrics about the scenery and rural life of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia." In Songs of the Common Day (1893) "he really established an indigenous Canadian verse." He was knighted in 1935— one of the first three Canadians to be so honored.
Roberts' great popularity, however, followed the publication of a series of volumes of enchanting stories about animals, birds— even fish and insects — twelve between the years 1900-1915. His creatures are of the wilderness, in the wilderness, mainly divorced from contact with man: vivid, authentic, engaging, and totally real. The best of these rewarding books are The Kindred of the Wild (1902), The Watchers of the Trails (1904), Red Fox (1905), Haunters of the Silences (1907), The Feet of the Furtive (1912). But the enduring masterpiece — one of the two or three best animal stories ever written — is Red Fox. If Roberts had written nothing else, Red Fox would assure his fame. Houghton Mifflin is proud to reissue it.
We today, the bulk of us, are now so far removed from the wilderness that we do not know what it is like. Cradle of life, it is equally the noble background for death. Our forefathers knew. But to see it from a plane, from a boat with an outboard, or to violate the silence with a snarling Snowmobile in the heart of the ancient wood is to miss almost everything. Just to read this book will make you ask yourself: Is man the true creature of dignity, courage, graqe, and individual resourcefulness, or is it the better part of the wild populace which he is hastening, one by one, to its extinction? From the introduction by DAVID McCORD
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