Fox Hunting

When the leaves turn, and start to fall and the frost graces the ground on early Sunday mornings, my mother and I head up to the bard to get the horses ready. Once we have everything packed up we put the horses in the trailer and drive up into the hills of Vermont to partake in the century old tradition of Fox hunting. When we arrive numerous trailers are parked in rows like sweet corn before its cut. Off in the distance the sound of hounds grace my ears to be met with the site of the hound truck pulling into the field. When all is ready and the hunt master is aboard we thunder off, down the field and disappear into the woods guided only by the sound of howling in front of us. Through mud and up steep slippery slopes, our horses trudge on. Though the scenes are beautiful from the tops of remote hills, high above the valley, there is little time to gaze, for before you know it you’re galloping down the other side, back onto the muddy trails following the one in front of you. Every so often the world freezes around you and horses stop in their tracks, only the sound of panting horses can be herd, every straining their ears. A hound calls out from the distance and before you can grab your rains, the horses are off again. For hours we ride through the woods chasing an ever eluding fox upon powerful horses, but eventually we return back to the rows of trailers. It was a successful hunt that day though, because it wasn’t catching the fox that was important, it was the journey that was the fun part. As we lay back on the porch of the house near by, eating beef stew and munching on bread we talk and mingle with the people fortunate to have been there on they day in the hills of Vermont.

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