The Last Of The Darkest Days – Befana, Belsnickel And The Witch & The Fox

Befana
Belsnickel
The Witch & The Fox

While I’m not particularly happy with the last three images of this project (I’ve been feeling uninspired and frustrated the last few days and it’s felt difficult to create) The Witch & The Fox has a particular significance for me.

During it’s creation, I was thinking of all the foxes lost to the hunts that have taken place in England since fox hunting with dogs started in the late 1600s. In England, it was tradition to hunt on Boxing Day (the day after Christmas) and, despite a ban coming into force in 2004, illegal hunts continue to happen.

When I was a kid, I encountered several hunts. Sometimes I could just hear the horn and the baying of the hounds. On other occasions, I actually found myself in the path of the hunt itself. I can remember my best friend’s older brother doing whatever he could – including using a horn or a whistle – to confuse the hounds.

I was inspired to make this image after seeing a video (I think it was from 2012) of a woman practically throwing herself in the midst of a pack of hounds to save a fox. As she ran away with the terrified fox in her arms, the huntsmen were growling ‘leave it, leave it!’ Their voices sounded utterly demonic. (If I find it again, I’ll link it below.)

I’d like to take a moment just to thank everyone who’s supported me on my Darkest Days journey and who comes here to read what I post. I know 2021 is going to test us all, as 2020 did but I wish each and every one of you a year that’s full of wonder, wyrdness and magick.

5 thoughts on “The Last Of The Darkest Days – Befana, Belsnickel And The Witch & The Fox”

  1. Checking by on the Darkest Days project has been a highlight of my December mornings. Thank you. šŸ™‚

    Fox hunting leaves me at a loss for the right words, to be honest. I can’t wrap my head around it only having been banned in 2004, and I don’t really want to wrap my head around why people would choose to continue with it.

    Thank you for those new year wishes, and wishing the same wonder, wyrdness and magick to you!

  2. I’m sad to hear that fox hunts continue, if illegally. Like you and yours, I want them gone. And the USA versions, too, with certain birds and deer and such.

    My, I would enjoy a year “full of wonder, wyrdness and magick.” Thank you for wishing this. Same to you.

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