By Natalie Odell
It’s Friday! And to celebrate the advent of the almost certainly sun-filled weekend we have a delightfully playful poem about a Herne Hill fox – courtesy of Natalie Odell. Enjoy!
Theres a Machiavellian fox prowling the streets of Herne Hill, who goes by the name of Brett
He’s an urban myth, a curious legend, a red pest residing in the shadows, rendering all sordid secrets under threat
The local residents stand in their drives on bin day, turn crimson, and puzzle over his villainous skill
Crying ‘but why he would want to humiliate me?, is this some kind of unsettled vendetta, or simply for some twisted personal thrill?’
And Brett kicks back in his 2 bed semi on Railton Road, nods with satisfaction and surveys his latest work
‘Bravo, Brett.’ He thinks. ‘Yes.That was an excellent night’s mischief.’ And allows himself a single jaffa cake and a smirk.
You see, Brett has an uncanny ability to seek out human scandal and expose it in the cold and embarrassing light of day
He will lay bare misdemeanours, secrets and failed cover ups, in a unique and excruciating way.
This crafty fox has a nose for unplanned pregnancies, sexual deviance (and jaffa cakes) and takes great pleasure in airing dirty laundry
He lives off filthy little secrets, awkward situations, painful regrets, and anything erring on the side of tawdry
So when bin day rolls around – his favourite day – he utilises his hyper sensitive fox’s poise, whiskers and snout
To wreak havoc in the community, locating incriminating objects in our bin bags, and brazenly dragging them about.
Brett can smell a KY jelly box from 50 paces, a used condom from a parallel street, and a sanitary towel from a distance of over a mile
And he will dart under cover of night, and leave his mark, and maybe do some howling, just because its fun, and just because that’s his style.
Brett only has one weakness tempting him away from the life-path of teaching in the school of hard lessons and knocks
It is an irresistibly chocolate coated, orange jelly filled biscuit, or some might say cake,and its housed in a blue and orange box.
The jaffa cake lures Brett away from his pernicious duties, and his night patrols, and also causes him to gain unsightly weight
And being flighty, and being fat, for a fox of his reputation and stature, are attributes that Brett has grown to hate.
This snack’s appearance; its brown and orange tones, offer a conversely painful and sweet reminder of a lover from his hazy and almost forgotten history
Ester was an exchange student fox on a stint from South America, so exotic, so grizzled, so pretty, so shrouded in latin mystery
Poor, naïve Brett thought Ester was his senorita for life, and bought them that semi, and a sofa on hire purchase, but she was soon to became his ex
When he got home early from his wearing factory job, that he stuck at just to pay the mortgage, and discovered her having adulterous sex
And prior to this agonising incident, Brett had never considered exposing bad behaviour and the like, but now that he was bitter, it had a new appeal
After all, Ester had lumbered him with a huge mortgage, and had turned his rose-tinted world sour, so he approached this dark craft with zeal.
From now on, when you see packaging you tried to hide in the rubbish, strewn across your drive way, or your garden path, or even out across the street
Give Brett the credit he deserves for being so calculating, and laugh along with him, bow your head and probably just admit defeat.
Because Brett is an evil genius, with the speed of a red arrow, the precision of a Singer sewing machine and a nose like the radar of a submarine vessel
And yes, he may have exposed you as a disgusting deviant to your neighbours, but remember those inner demons with which he has to wrestle.
Try to outsmart him by all means, throw some duff evidence in your bin, but I warn you, this will be at your own peril,
He may have a bushy tail, and a furry coat, and a jaunty little trot, but this bad mac daddy is anything but your average neighbourhood feral.