Lady into Fox by David Garnett
originally published 1922
WW Norton & Company Inc, 1st printing, 1966
Genre: fantasy, wonder tale
Synopsis & Review: One day shortly after their marriage, Mrs Tebrick turns into a vixen. Literally into a female fox. Though mystified and distressed by this change, Mr Tebrick does all he can to protect her and care for her. He dismisses their servants and shuts up the house, and embarks upon a routine of caring for her. Inside, she is still Silvia, his Puss, and he still loves her passionately, so he does his best to satisfy her modesty by dressing her in a bedjacket. He also feeds her at the table, and the two of them play piquet and cribbage. In the mornings, he brushes and scents her fur so that she’s less foxy smelling. Together, they live on as much like before the change as they can, but it cannot last.
Unfortunately, though Mr Tebrick tries to keep their life as it was, Silvia begins succumbing to the nature of her form, slowly becoming more feral, more foxlike. She wants to eat raw meat and chase ducks, and Mr Tebrick struggles with his love for her as a woman when she is now an animal. Mr Tebrick works hard at protecting her and taming her, even allowing her former nurse to attempt to impose order, but nothing works for long. Silvia continues to change, gradually becoming almost entirely a vixen, and Mr Tebrick must decide what is best for her despite his own desires.
You know how sometimes you read something and you think, “Oh my goodness, that was just delightful!” but you can’t quite put your finger on what it was that delighted you, because some of it was awful and sad, or otherwise very difficult for you to read, but overall, you just can’t believe how highly you think of it? Well, that’s pretty much how I feel about Lady into Fox. Read the rest of this entry »