"Get out of the way or get an antler up the arse, yeah? I'm sick of these glorified donkeys."
Londoners are generally an optimistic bunch. A massive community of eight-and-a-half million humans, all just trying to find their own way amongst tourists, obscene house prices and artisan coffee shops.
But this is a story of one Londoner who just happens to have fur and four legs.
The ruling deer have always cast a dictatorial shadow over the other animals in Richmond Park. When they decide they want a change of scenery and kick him and his friends out of their homes, Vince the fox has had enough.
He's never left the safety of Richmond Park, but he's got nothing to lose anymore. Not since his ex-girlfriend left him for another member of the pack. His grandparents came from the other side of London -- could he find their old home and create a better life? Will the capital's modern, mechanical, multi-cultural challenges help or hinder his adventure?
Following with a dream of finally experiencing the big city is Rita, an adventure-seeking magpie with an ill-advised love of singing. Vince agrees to let her tag along, as a pair of eyes in the air will no doubt come in handy.
Together the pair traverse London, helped by the urban creatures they encounter along the way: Westminster's bumbling peregrine falcon, the timid family of hedgehogs in Regent's Park, Soho's hipster rats, and the occasional human.
Back in Richmond Park, Edward the alpha-stag is paranoid: if Vince's departure encourages a multi-species mutiny and the rest of the animals up-sticks, the deer's power over the park will be lost.
Just what has Vince started beneath the eye line of London's human population?
“Why I should leave,” Vince snarled as he prowled back and forth in the semi-circle of bare earth that marked the entrance to his den, black ears flat to his head, “just because some entitled deer want to be near the goddamn lake?”
“It's not like that. And you can dig a new, bigger den in a day or two. I don't see what the problem is.” Edward tilted his antlers towards the small skulk of foxes several metres away, who had gathered at the edge of the woodland to wait for the sun to set. “Your friends are being very cooperative.”
“That's because you've told them a load of crap about how great the cemetery is,” Vince spat, the copper fur on his back bristling. He’d had every intention of talking this through civilly with the stag, but his temper had other ideas. Just like last time.
“The cemetery is perfectly lovely, there's trees all around, and there'll be more food for you there.” Edward clenched his jaw.
“Because it's right next to the town! There are people everywhere! It's not like there's not enough room here for all of us here.”
“Hardly,” Edward snorted.
If these glorified donkeys think their pathetic promises will persuade me to leave without a fuss...
Vince stopped pacing and sat on his haunches, eyes narrowed. “If the cemetery is so bloody great, why don't the deer move there?”Read more...
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