'Boys and Girls' by Alice Munro'

 ‘Boys and Girls’ by Alice Munro’

‘Boys and Girls’ by Alice Munro ⇒ Alive, the foxes inhabited a my father made for them. It was surrounded by a fence, like a medieval town, with a gate that was padlocked at night.

 'Boys and Girls' by Alice Munro'
Alice Munro

Along the street town were ranged large, sturdy pens. Each of them had a real door that a man could a wooden ramp along the wire, for the foxes to run up and down on, and a kennel like a clothes chest with airhole’s-where they slept and stayed in winter.

There were feeding and watering dishes attached to the wire in such a way that they emptied and cleaned from the outside. The dishes were made of old tin cans, and the kennels of odds and ends of old lumber.

Everything was tidy and ingenious; my father was tirelessly inventive and his favour the world was Robinson Crusoe.

He had fitted a tin drum on a wheelbarrow, for brin down to the pens. This was my job in the summer, when the foxes had to have water day. Between nine and ten o’clock in the morning, and again after supper, I filled the pump and trundled it down through the barnyard to the pens, where I parked it, and 1 watering can and went along the streets.

The foxes all had names, which were printed on a tin plate and hung beside their doors. They were not named when they were born, but when they survived the first year’s pelting and were added to the breeding stock.Naming them did not make pets out of them, or anything like it.

Nobody but my father ever went into the pens, and he had twice had blood-poisoning from bites.

When I was bringing them their water they prowled up and down on the paths they had made inside their pens, barking dom-they saved that for nighttimes, when they might get up a chorus of community nzy–but always watching me, their eyes burning, clear gold, in their pointed, malevolent es.

They were beautiful for their delicate legs and heavy, aristocratic tails and the bright fur wrinkled on dark down their back-which gave them their name – but especially for their faces, drawn exquisitely sharp in pure hostility, and their golden eyes.

Besides carrying water I helped my father when he cut the long grass, and the lamb’s quarter and flowering money-musk, that grew between the pens. He cut with they scythe and I raked into piles. Then he took a pitchfork and threw fresh-cut grass all over the top of the pens to keep the foxes cooler and shade their coats, which were browned by too much sun.

My father did not talk to me unless it was about the job we were doing. In this he was quite different from my mother, who, if she was feeling cheerful, would tell me all sorts of things the name of a dog she had had when she was a little girl, the names of boys she had gone out with later on when she was grown up, and what certain dresses of hers had looked like – she could not imagine now what had become of them.

Whatever thoughts and stories my father had were private, and I was shy of him and would never ask him questions.

Nevertheless I worked willingly under his eyes, and with a feeling of pride. One time ed salesman came down into the pens to talk to him and my father said, “Like to have you meet my new hired hand.” I turned away and raked furiously, red in the face with pleasure.

“Could of fooled me.” said the salesman. “I thought it was only a girl.”

‘Boys and Girls’ by Alice Munro

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