Fox Tossing


I'm proud to present to you a new sport that I hadn't heard of until today - Fox Tossing. It was featured on Ptaks Science Books, a good source of weirdness. Here's what they say about this exciting new pasttime:

In the early 17th century there existed a German Court sport of fox-tossing. What would happen is this: a coral would be made of cloth screens; court favorites would entire the enclosures with ropes while disabled foxes were also introduced; the people would pair up with a long rope between them, held slack to the ground; the animals would run in an enforced terror around and through the pairs and over the slack ropes; when the fox tried to run over the rope, the pair would yank the rope taught, launching the fox into the air. And so on until everything was up in the air or dead. And that’s it.

Skilled male tossers could toss a fox 24 ft. high...At a famous fox-tossing in Dresden there were tossed some 687 foxes, 533 hares, 34 badgers, 21 wild cats, and at the end 34 young wild boar and 3 wolves....”


Apart from the strangeness that time has leant the thought of purposefully killing animals for a bit of a laugh, you do have to wonder exactly how bored you would have to have been to invent this as a sport...

7 comments:

Gaw said...

Watching the leaders' debate gives me the urge to toss some politicians 'until everything was up in the air or dead'.

worm said...

god it was awful - GB's last weird smile at the end made me want to rip out my own eyes with revulsion. the other two wern't much better. more platitudes and smokescreen.

zmkc said...

But foxes purposely kill other creatures for sport - one just slaughtered the mother duck plus six of the ten ducklings on my mother's dam. The drake and the others are looking miserable today - and the bodies of the rest of the family have just been scattered about, not eaten. But where do you get disabled foxes, I wonder.

Gaw said...

Wormy: he looked totally mental didn't he? Quite unsettling shit sandwich smile.

z: I think it's possible to make your own.

Gadjo Dilo said...

The past is a different country, they do things differently there (isn't it?), and much much more cruelly. I can take fox-hunting, but this sport seems unusually unpleasant.

worm said...

zmkc - apparently the reason why foxes kill large numbers of poultry and leave them there is not because of 'sport' but because in the wild they would normally return back to the scene of the crime, bury the birds and then for a few weeks afterwards return to take the dead birds as and when needed. Obviously human intervention normally intervenes in the process.

Not that I like foxes mind you. Like Gadjo I don't really mind the thought of fox hunting, but on balance would probably draw the line at hobbling them before pinging then 30 feet into the air for a bit of a laugh.

Mark's Wine Club said...

Now that's a sport! lol the animal rights activists would have a field day with that today.

A fox is one thing, but how do you convince someone to take part when their are wolves and wild boar in the ring as well.

That seems to take it over the line from fun to dangerous, although for spectators a few hundred years ago, I'd expect that was part of the draw.