Weasel, the second character in an upcoming blog
One foggy January Monday morning in 1547, King Henry VIII declared he needed a new scarf. The King needed to attend a beheading later in the week and he wanted to make sure he looked fashionable for the occasion. Since orange was the color of the season, his servants, wanting to keep their heads attached to their shoulders, spoke of a fox, George The Orange Flame, who was notorious for stealing chicken eggs, peeing on trees, and causing general mischief in the peasant community. It had been said that George, otherwise known as The Innocent by his furry woodland friends, was uncatchable. “Uncatchable?” laughed the King. And with a hearty, “Death to George!” King Henry VIII ordered for a fox hunt to begin at once.
Unfortunately for King Henry VIII, a pigeon named Sally The Stumbler, as she was called by the other pigeons, overheard the entire conversation. Upon hearing the order, she slipped and fell off the window sill, making quite the scene. But she immediately got back to her feet, ruffled her feathers to shake off the dirt, and flew to George The Light Hearted, as he was known to the birds of flight, to warn him of this insidious plot against his life. Much to her surprise, George laughed it off and replied, “Worry not, my feathered friend. This so-called…King…will not lay a hand on this coat of mine.” And so, George The Crafty, as he was known by his enemies, devised a plan.
When King Henry VIII reached the forest, he and his entourage, were rather surprised to see George sitting at the forest’s edge, seemingly waiting for the hunt to begin. This nonchalant behavior infuriated the King, which brought what appeared to be a grin to George’s face. “Do we amuse you, you stupid fox?” roared the King. “Kill him at once!” he ordered.
Responding to their King’s order, everyone dashed after George The Swift, as he was known by the meat eating predators of the land. George ran in between towering trees to avoid the galloping horses. He dashed under thick green bushes to escape the barking dogs biting at his tail. He dove in the streams to avoid the screaming arrows and exploding rifle shots. As effortlessly ran, jumped, and swam through the forest and while his pursuers tripped, stumbled, and slipped, the forest creatures began silently gathering around watching George, now The Taunter, flee from the King’s men. Red deer muttered to each other in wonder as they ran along. Frogs croaked to each other as they tried to keep up through the water. Great crested newts did whatever great crested newts do in amazement.
“I’ve got you now” yelled the king, as the forest started to thin out. “You have no more trees to climb. No more bushes to hide in. No more streams to slip away.” Pausing, George sat for a moment, turned his head around to the King and smiled before dashing off towards the direction of the foggy open field. In a fit of rage the King spurred his horse and gave chase. George knew he didn’t have much time, for even he knew that it would be impossible to outrun a horse forever. So he ran with his all his might, as fast as he could, knowing the King himself was getting closer with every step. Just when the horse was just about ready to catch him, the fog cleared a little bit and the edge of a cliff appeared. George slid to a stop and dashed quickly to the right. The horse, also seeing the danger, stopped with all its might, flinging the King off his back and over the side of the cliff.
George, The Good Sport as he was known to his competitors, walked over to the side of the cliff, and saw the King hanging on to a branch. “You could have killed me!” cried the King. “What are you crazy?” “Maybe.” replied George, “But I’m standing on solid ground, and I don’t believe that branch is going to hold much longer.” As the branch ripped from the side of the cliff, and the King fell to his rocky death below, George quickly disappeared before the entourage knew what to say, or how react. But British royalty have been telling the story ever since, and that is how we have the phrase. “Crazy like a fox.”