Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Little Foxes


"Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes." (Song of Solomon, Chapter 2, Verse 15) This newspaper clipping was among my Grandma Ridnour's pictures. On the back is written Little Foxes. If there was an accompanying story, it did not get cut out of the paper. The seven kits are being corralled by Grandma's nieces and nephew, the children of Grandpa's sister Lottie Inman. From left to right they are: Lola, Leona, Ray and Macy.
There is nothing indicating where, why or how the little foxes were caught. I would guess Uncle Guy and Ray may have dug out a den for the bounty money on foxes. Nor is there a date. I know Ray died just before his 18th birthday in 1940 and Macy died at age 6 in 1939, so I would place this picture at 1937 or 1938.


I cannot hear nor see The Little Foxes without thinking of Lillian Hellman. She was an author of plays and screenplays as well as three memoirs. She wrote The Little Foxes in 1939 and the screenplay for the 1941 movie version. Her first memoir, An Unfinished Woman, won the National Book Award for Nonfiction in 1970. I don't remember if it was reading this book or not, but sometime in my 20's or 30's I became aware of Hellman and always thought she was an interesting woman who lived life on her terms.
Perhaps it was seeing the 1977 movie Julia based on her second book of memoirs, Pentimento, which led to my interest in her. I still remember the scenes with Jane Fonda as the young Lillian and Jason Robards, Jr. playing her lover, Dashiell Hammett and, of course, Vanessa Redgrave as Julia.
Maybe it's time to go back and read more Hellman or even some of Hammett's mysteries.

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