As they sat on the old wooden bench at the edge of twilight the Old Fox and the Young Vixen stared into the fading horizon. They snacked on pink sherbet popcorn and drank the remains of a bottle of alcohol-free wine.
‘I saw her the other day,’ said the Young Vixen, ‘you know who I mean, Sybil Squirrel’
‘Ahh yes’ said the Old Fox, ‘and how is she these days?’
‘Well enough I suppose,’ said the Young Vixen ‘full of herself as she landed a job modelling for Snappy Si in the High Street.’
‘Modelling?’ said the Old Fox. ‘How does she do that at her age?’
‘Well, he’s got pictures of her in a skimpy pink and yellow bikini posted in his window. It is making everyone stop and look and it gets more customers coming in my coffee shop next door.’
‘I bet it does,’ said the Old Fox, laughing.
I wouldn’t mind having a go at it myself,’ said the Young Vixen
‘What? You? Modelling for Snappy Si?’ said the Old Fox.
‘No not for Snappy Si, of course not. I was thinking something more tasteful,’ said the Young Vixen. ‘There is something about Snappy Si that makes my guts churn, but I have heard from my Auntie Jenny that Bel’s Boutique is looking for a new model. I have an interview tomorrow.’
Old Fox could hardly contain his amusement and slid slightly off the bench. The kernels of popcorn he was eating scratched his throat as he swallowed hard and he fought to pull himself together and keep a straight muzzle.
The Young Vixen glared at him in her petulant manner.
‘I can do it,’ she said, ‘it’s better pay than the coffee shop and I’ll make new friends my own age. I might even be able to influence fashion trends, ya know.’
On seeing the serious look on the Vixen’s face the Old Fox put himself on to more gentlemanly behaviour.
‘My dear Young Vixen, your dog fox will never agree to it, he is far too possessive.’
‘But he buys his gear from there, I have seen him more than once. I don’t see that he would have a problem.’
‘Gear?’ said the Old Fox. ‘What do you think he needs all that flash gear for? Doesn’t take you out dressed to the nines that’s for sure.’
‘Here he comes now,’ said the Young Vixen, ‘why don’t you ask him yourself?’
Reynard came strutting up to the bench with Vanda yapping at his brush. ‘Oh, there you are,’ he called out, ‘we have been looking for you Vanda needs help with her cubs.’
‘Have you been shirking off again?’ asked Vanda, smirking at the young vixen, ‘we never can find you when there are chores to be done.’
‘Shirking off?’ said the Young Vixen, ‘oh my dear Vanda, as if I would do that. I have just been talking about my business plan, even if I do say it myself, it is brilliant.’
The Old Fox interrupted the Young Vixen, and with a devilish glint in his eye he said ‘we were thinking that you two make such a delightful couple you could do some modelling for Snappy Si just like that Sybil Squirrel – she’s seriously generating a lot of attention, you two would be in your element – and it would help you with your financial problems Reynard.’
The Young Vixen stared at the Old Fox wishing she could sink her teeth in his neck. She was about to object but too late. Vanda was bouncing around with a huge great grin on her muzzle. ‘Oh I love the idea; I simply love it,’ she said, ‘My dear Vixen you are an absolute genius!’
Now the Young Vixen felt a sarky smile grow on her muzzle. Reynard however was far from impressed.
‘What the hell are you thinking, Vixen?’ he said sharply. ‘My vixens are not parading half naked to sell Snappy Si’s products… it just wouldn’t be decent.’
The Young Vixen glanced at the Old Fox and saw him nod. This was her opportunity and she said slyly:
‘I agree and I said as much to Fox, but I could try working at Bel’s Boutique on my own at first. If it works out maybe Vanda could join me, or you Reynard, or even Old Fox’ (she shot him a quick smirking glance).
Reynard stared at the Young Vixen, ‘And what exactly would you be modelling’ he asked.
‘Reynard, you know how elegant and tasteful Bel’s Boutique’s clothes are, is it not where you bought that lovely silk tie for the forest gathering last weekend? Just imagine how much cheaper funding your um social life would be.’
Suddenly the idea didn’t seem so bad after all… Reynard saw himself surrounded by silk ties, tail coats and dashing waistcoats. His eyes became dilated and he had to take a huge breath to ground himself. ‘Let me think about it, Vixen, you will have my answer tomorrow.’
©JG Farmer 2019