Sign, sign, everywhere a sign,
Blockin' out the scenery, breakin' my mind.
Five Man Electrical Band
I have a request. This is directed to those who move to a rural area where foxhunting is still practiced and who embrace this lifestyle, either riding to hounds themselves or at least supporting the local hunt and allowing its members to cross their land. Bless you, thank you, may the heavens shower you with health, wealth, happiness, and an abundance of tax shelters. I ask but this: Please don’t use the word “fox” in the name of your farm. We have enough already. We have too many. We have so many that it’s become laughably trite. The only incentive now is to see how many variations of fox-themed farm names people can come up.
Think I’m exaggerating? Consider these few examples:
Fox Acres, Fox Arbor, Fox Bay, Fox Brook, Fox Brush, Fox Call, Fox Cave, Fox Chase, Fox Country, Fox Covert (pronounced “Cover”), Fox Cover (no, not pronounced “Covert”), Fox Cradle, Fox Creek, Fox Crest, Fox Den, Fox Delight, Fox Falls, Fox Farm (that took some deep thought), Fox Fawn (an interspecies commune?), Fox Feather, Fox Fields, Fox Fire, Fox Folly, Fox Found, Fox Frolic, Fox Gallop, Fox Gamble, Fox Gate, Fox Glen, Fox Glove, Fox Grove, Fox Haven, Fox Heaven, Fox Hideout, Fox Hill, Fox Hole (complete with an image of a helmeted fox in a sandbag bunker on the sign), Fox Holloa (pronounced “Holler”), Fox Holler (pronounced, well…”Holler”), Fox Hollow, Fox Hunt (another brilliant stroke of imagination), Fox Knoll, Fox Lair, Fox Lake, Fox Lane, Fox Lea, Fox Ledge, Fox Manor, Fox Mask, Fox Meadows, Fox Mews, Fox Mill, Fox Mount, Fox Mountain, Fox Oaks, Fox Over, Fox Park, Fox Pasture, Fox Path, Fox Paw, Fox Penny, Fox Pines, Fox Point, Fox Pond, Fox Redoubt, Fox Rest, Fox Retreat, Fox Return, Fox Ridge, Fox River, Fox Rock, Fox Roll, Fox Romp, Fox Run, Fox Rush, Fox Shadow, Fox Star, Fox Stream, Fox Stone, Fox Swamp, Fox Tail, Fox Time (or Thyme), Fox Thorn, Foxtopia, Fox Trail, Fox Treat, Fox Tree, Fox Trot, Fox Turn, Fox Watch, Fox Way, Fox Willow, Fox Woods, Fox Vale, Fox Valley, Fox View, Fox Village.
Now replace “Fox” with “Vixen” or “Vixen’s” and you can repeat the entire list.
If only it stopped there. But it doesn’t. Let’s move “Fox” to the end of the name and consider these possibilities.
Lazy Fox, Sneaky Fox, Running Fox, Trotting Fox, Fancy Fox, Briar Fox, Brer Fox, Bold Fox, Hidden Fox, Laughing Fox, Shadow Fox, Sunny Fox, After the Fox, Rocking Fox, Rolling Fox, Wiley Fox, Barking Fox, Granny Fox, Cedar Fox, Swamp Fox, Copper Fox, Flying Fox, Painted Fox, Wild Fox, Sassy Fox, Cozy Fox, Sly Fox, Snooty Fox, Little Fox, Big Fox, Extra Large Fox (just kidding), then there’s a fox of any color (Gray Fox, Red Fox, Blue Fox, Green Fox, etc.) and foxes of any number (One Fox, Two Fox, Three Fox, and so on), Sleepy Fox, Happy Fox, Bashful Fox, Sneezy Fox, Grumpy Fox, Dopey…well, maybe not.
I appreciate the spirit behind these names. Each is a counterpoint to the developers’ use of hunt-themed names for places where hunting, or even trail riding, no longer exists. But how about shooting for a little more creativity here folks? And let’s recognize some other woodland critters that are an integral part of the countryside. Doesn’t “Possum Pastures” have a nice alliterative ring to it? Although it’s accurately descriptive of the rural lifestyle, “Knee-deep In Dirt, Debt, Hay and Horseshit Farm” might be hard to fit on a sign. For boldness and accuracy, as well as brevity, it would be tough to beat “Feral Cat Farm.”
I will allow one exception to the banishment of the word “fox” from any more farm signs. If your name happens to be “Fox,” you get an exemption.
© 2010 J. Harris Anderson