Though her family’s adventures with Frisky the fox took place years ago in Indiana, Jane King’s retelling sparkles with detail. Now living in Orland, King, an artist and retired math teacher, and a former trustee for the Chico Unified School District, enhances the memoir with dozens of her pencil sketches and a section of family photographs. It’s a treat for both kids and adults.
“A Fox In The Family” ($15.99 in paperback from Xlibris, also for Amazon Kindle) begins when “my husband, Jim, and I had moved to the country after our first son was born, and by the time our second son arrived, we knew where to find the great horned owl resting during the day … and lovely pink lady slippers just off the beaten path.”
“Two newspaper articles,” she writes, “had featured our family as the only people in town who fox-hunted on horseback and raised scrappy and unusual terriers that would go underground after all sorts of critters.”
Asked to help remove “a litter of foxes from an old barn that was being torn down,” the family eventually finds itself in possession of two gray fox pups. Soon Frisky and Friendly had the run of the house, to the delight of the two boys, Chris and Carter. “The foxes would hide under the trundle bed while the boys played with a conglomeration of toys on the floor. When a particular one took their fancy, the foxes would dash out, grab it either from the floor or from the boy’s hands, and scuttle back to the safety of the bed.”
There is sadness when Friendly succumbs to illness, yet much laughter and hubbub at Frisky’s foxy antics, and sadness again when the family moves and must leave Frisky behind. Up close and personal, it’s a wonderful tail.
King will be signing copies of her book at the Orland Art Center, 724 4th Street, from 3:00 - 7:00 p.m. October 3 and from 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. October 4. She’ll also be signing copies at the Chico Library October 18 from 12:30 - 2:00 p.m.