What Does the Fox Hunt?

“Jacha-chacha-chacha-chow!” the voice boomed all around as Gary rustled around in the darkness.

“Fraka-kaka-kaka-kaka-kow!” it came again louder this time. Gary put his paws over his ears but it seemed to echo round his skull.

“A-hee-ahee ha-hee!” Gary forced himself to backwards out of the darkness his tail swishing aside the detritus of the fallen human world as he fled the awful laughing sound.

“A-oo-oo-oo-ooo!” The voice roared in the black tunnel, chasing Gary as he popped out into the world of light and colour.

“The Fox says you’re an asshole Rob,” cursed Gary rubbing his eyes with his dirty paws and lashing out at the badger with his tail. Rob grabbed the fluffy red tail and used it like a microphone.

“Dog goes woof, cat goes meow, bird goes tweet, and mouse goes squeek.”

“Badger goes oww,” said Gary snatching his tail back from his smiling, black and white striped friend.

“That’s not how…” started Rob before Gary interrupted him with a vicious kick in the shin, “Oww.”

“Told ya,” said Gary with a grin.

‘Lol at Rob,’ chuckled Gary’s fun time brain.

‘Pigeon!’ retorted his food brain.

Gary – like all the foxes – had three distinct brains, the food brain, the fun time brain and thinking brain all fighting for control. There had been a time before the revolution  Gary’s food brain had taken up approximately 90% of his designated thinking time. However, with the humans gone and food now plentiful it had pretty much swung in favour of his fun time brain. He had even noticed that his lesser used thinking brain, which had previously filled in the statistically insignificant time in between his food and fun time brains, had crept up to almost double digits allowing Gary to find a place of his own in the City and hold down a job as a human spotter.

“Now can you please stop singing that damn song,” said Gary his thinking brain finally taking control for a minute.

“You said that last time.”

“Yes, well I didn’t think anything could be any more annoying than the last song…”

“Oh you mean; Badger, badger, badger, badger, badger, badger, badger, badger, badger, badger. Mushroom, mushroom, Oww…”

Gary waved his fist menacingly at Rob. “I told you what would happen if you sang that song again…”

“But don’t you think its fascinating?” asked Rob paws raised in surrender. “I mean they wrote all these songs about us they must have liked us right?”

“They also hunted us for fun,” Gary pointed out, remembering that day before the uprising when he’d nearly been trampled by a bunch of buck-toothed humans, blowing horns and swanning about in ridiculous clothes.

“I just can’t think they were all bad,” replied Rob.

“Look it’s not our job to judge,” said Gary putting his arm around the young badger. “Our job is to sniff them out if there are any here. We leave the judging to the egg-heads back at the office.”

“I guess,” sighed Rob. “I just really wish I could meet one of the nice ones; we could keep him as a pet.”

“I don’t think they’d like that.”

“We could make up our own songs about them,” said Rob skipping ahead a few steps a wide grin splitting his black and white face.

“Don’t…” began Gary.

“Human, human, human human, human, human, human, human, human, human, cheesecake, cheesecake…”

“Get back here you little…” cursed Gary chasing after the dancing badger.

—————————————————-

The best thing about being a human spotter for Gary was the fact that there weren’t really any humans left to spot. Gary had been a human spotter for about 3 months and he hadn’t spotted a single one. He had found lots of bins and bins meant ‘Chicken!’ shouted Gary’s food brain. His mouth started to water, his tail wagged from side to side as his food brain sang ‘chicken, chicken, chicken.’

“Human!!!” bellowed Rob dashing around the corner and snapping Gary out of his reverie.

“What? Where? What?” sputtered Gary.

Rob bent over and slapped his thigh, shit-eating grin plastered on his face. “Oh. You. Should. Have. Seen. Your. Face.” he wheezed between laughs tears stinging his eyes. “Hi-larious!” The best thing about being a human spotter for Rob was winding up Gary.

Gary took two steps forward and kicked Rob hard in the shin.

“Ow, ha, ha, ha.” laughed Rob.

“Prick,” cursed Gary. “You know one of these days we’ll see a human and then I won’t…”

“Human!!!” shouted Rob.

Gary spun around eyes wide. “Where? Where?” He looked wildly around then seeing nothing he focused on Rob who’s face was twisted as he strained not to laugh. Gary let out a roar Rob turned tail and ran laughing all the way.

Rob dashed across an abandoned square, slid under a rusty car and bolted into the open doorway of a tower block. Gary, hot on Rob’s heels, burst through the doorway seconds behind his friend and slammed straight into the his furry back.

“Mdfisdndfn welioehfsfs wefosdnqw0r,” said Gary his mouth full of badger fur.

“H-Hu-Human!” stuttered Rob.

“You won’t get me with that again,” said Gary scratching the fur of his tongue with his paws. “I mean…” he was cut off as Rob clamped his clammy paws around his head and tilted it to the right. Gary squinted for a second and then backed away pointing, in disbelief. “Human, Human! HUMAN!!!!”

The human, a bony unkempt thing with sunken cheeks and stringy red hair dropped the pigeon they were holding and stared with wide eyed terror at Gary.

“Pigeon!” shouted Gary’s food brain.

“She’s cute, lets pet her!” shouted Gary’s fun time brain.

“Remember your training, blow the whistle!” shouted Gary’s thinking brain.

All the idea’s collided in Gary’s brain short circuiting it and he dropped to the floor and lay still in an expanding puddle of drool. When he finally awoke he saw the terrified human curled in a ball as Rob combed her hair with his huge claws.

“Can I keep her? Can I keep her? Can I keep her?” said Rob making the human squirm even more.

“I don’t think the Mayor will like that,” said Gary. “It doesn’t look like the human would like it either to be honest.”

“Pish-posh,” said Rob waving a  paw at Gary. “She’s harmless I’m telling you. We’ll get some food into her, get her tidied up and the Mayor won’t be able to say no.”

“I don’t know, ” replied Gary. “She’s pretty good at saying no.”

—————————————————-

Two days later Rob and Gary presented Fluffy the human (Rob had picked the name, Gary had been against it) to the Mayor. Once they fed her she’d been surprisingly compliant allowing them to wash her in the river, comb the tangles from her hair and even dress her up in a little raincoat and booties.

She was like a completely different human, eyes bright, hair all curly and fluffy (hence the name) and cheeks rosy red. They had even managed to teach her a few words in animal common meaning she came when they called her and stayed when instructed.

“So this the infamous Fluffy,” said the Mayor coming down from her tree stump to get a  closer look.

“Yessir,” replied Rob holding out his arms to show her off.

“And you say she is a good girl?”

“Yessir,” said Rob petting her hand. “You’re a good girl aren’t you Fluffy?”

The human made some incomprehensible noises in human and Rob patted her on the hand again saying, “Yes you are, you’re a good girl.” in a sickly sweet voice.

“And she does as you say?”

“Well we’ve only taught her a few words but once we fed her she was pretty much our best friend. I think she was starving the poor thing these humans really can’t look after themselves.”

“And she hasn’t tried to hunt you at all?”

“Nope, no funny hats, no horse nothing.”

“Okay then.”

“You mean I can keep her?”

“Yes but you have to walk her every day and keep her fed and watered,” replied the Mayor. “It’s a big responsibility looking after a human.”

“Yes!” cried Rob Rob jumping up and punching the air.

“I think we’ll need to start sending out some more spotters,” said Mayor to herself as she went back up the hill to her tree stump. “See if there are any more of the poor wretches out there. Now one of them has a pet everyone is going to want one…”

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