The Foxearth and District Local History Society

The Hysterical Hystorian

For occasional articles, snippets and announcements by the Resident Historians.These articles are presented in date order, but if you explore the back-catalogue, you may find much of interest. Historical information doesn't really go out of date! Any member of the F&DLHS may add an entry or make a comment to an existing entry once they have got their userID and password from the Webmaster.

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Friday, December 31, 2004

Cunning Renardine

From a local paper before 1910 comes the following story

Several years ago at an old-fashioned farmhouse called Tittle Hall,in Boxted,a small village,lying between Sudbury and Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk,there lived a farmer and his wife who thought much of their cows and dairy,but they were rather pestered with foxes,as the squire of Boxted-hall,an ancient mansion,being lord of the manor,did not allow them to be molested,as they were reserved for sporting,and so it happened that the farmer's wife on going into her dairy one morning, was horrified to see a fox of enormous size lying dead(as she supposed) on the floor. The dairies at that time were large and airy,with lattice windows,and floors paved with clinker bricks,which were scrubbed down with a birch broom and much water. A brick was left out of the wall level with the floor for a sink hole,where all the refuse was washed out.

The fox on his nightly prowls round the house appears to have scented the cream through the windows or sink hole,and as he would like to taste it squeezed himself through the hole into the dairy,and made his way to the cream pot,and it was so very nice he ate it all up,he swelled himself up to such a size that he could not by no means get back through the hole again,and hearing footsteps coming he laid down and feigned to be dead. The lady suspecting what he had been doing looked into her cream pot,and finding it all gone,she was so exasperated that she took him up in a rage thinking he was dead and with an ugly word threw him out into the back yard,but to her great consternation and dismay as soon as Reynard found he was at large and once more free to use his legs he bounded off at full speed,leaving the lady to grieve over the escape of the audacious and crafty thief.


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