By: Blonde Two

Some of you committed Blondees and Blondettes may remember my previous adventure with tent raiding foxes on Dartmoor  Well, the crafty creatures have struck again.  This time it wasn’t our kids who lost rations but those belonging to a Duke of Edinburgh neighbour of ours. This fox was so determined to find food that it ripped a hole through the outer and inner of a brand new tent.

Our D of E expedition was the weekend after this incident so, although we were not going to be camping in the same area, we decided that we would warn our groups to be aware and take some precautions.  In readiness for this, I prepared the “Fox Talk” in my head.  Over the time that we Two Blondes have been taking youngsters on expeditions, we have developed many different “talks” that we can deliver at a moment’s notice.  There is the “River Talk” which I give whilst hoping that none of them will ever notice how much of a chicken I am about crossing rivers, there is the “Road Talk” which is usually delivered in a loud voice whilst marching along a busy road and there is the “Team Spirit” talk which is usually aimed at those who march ahead far too fast.

Some of the young guys who have been around us for a long time now and with whom the lines of leader/leadee have become a bit blurred, have cottoned on these talks and started to invent rather cheeky versions of their own.  My favourite is the “Rugby Ball” talk which came about when they decided to carry an expedition rugby ball for entertainment.  It went something like, “Don’t throw rugby balls at cars, don’t throw rugby balls at houses, don’t throw rugby balls at people.”  They have become so good at this now that we just give them the title of “The Talk” and they usually guess the contents correctly.  This didn’t work out quite as we had hoped when I asked them if they needed me to give them the “Fox Talk” as the only recommendation that they came up with (amid rather cheeky grins) was, “Don’t throw rugby balls at foxes”.

Just in case you are thinking of camping in an area that is known to be a bit foxy (this Dartmoor issue was around the Scout Hut/Drizzlecombe area) the proper, grown up fox talk goes like this.  “At night, keep all food in the main body of the tent with you, don’t leave it in the fly sheet. If you leave the tent, take all food with you.  Don’t bother shouting at the fox if he has stolen your food, he won’t give it back.”

I liked my Dartmoor fox talk so much that I have found myself randomly delivering it to complete strangers both whilst out walking and via social media.  There is nothing wrong with a bit of eccentricity!