FOXHUNT

FOXHUNT

"In 1944 LIFE magazine published a photo essay of a foxhunt in Holmes county, Ohio. The foxes lived in the woods and ate mostly mice and crickets, but sometimes also chicken and quail. This, the story explained, 'made the brave men of Holmes County angry because they wanted to kill the quail themselves.' So one Saturday about 600 men and women and their children got together and formed a big circle reaching five miles across. They all carried sticks and started walking through the woods and fields, yelling and baying to frighten the foxes, young and old, out of their holes. Inside this diminishing circle the foxes ran to and fro, tired and frightened. Sometimes a fox would, in its anger, dare to snarl back and it would be killed on the spot for its temerity. Sometimes one would stop in its anguish and try to lick the hand of its tormentor. It too would be killed.
Sometimes, the photo showed, other foxes would stop and stay with their own wounded and dying. Finally, as the circle came closer together, down to a few yards across, the remaining foxes went to the center and lay down inside, not knowing what else to do. But the men and women knew what to do. They hit these dying wounded with their clubs until they were dead, or they showed their children how to do it.
This is a true story.
LIFE reported and photographed it. It happened for years in Holmes County every weekend.
Today we cringe at such cruelty, yet we have a foxhunt of our own ... just ask the afflicted and the addicted ... who wonder if they have any alternative but to go to the center of the circle and lie down and die.
Where are we in that circle?
Where are you?
Where would Christ be?
Our hearts of stone become hearts of flesh when we learn where the outcast weeps."
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