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Literature / Hunter's Moon (1989)

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Hunter's Moon, also known as The Foxes Of Firstdark, is a 1989 novel by Garry Kilworth.

The story revolves around red foxes. The protagonist is a vixen named O-ha. O-ha lives with her mate A-ho in the English countryside. After A-ho dies, O-ha must survive on her own without her mate.

Not to be confused with the 2016 book Hunter's Moon.

Hunter's Moon provides examples of:

  • Animal Naming Conventions: Foxes in England have names like O-ha, A-ho, A-konkon, O-sollo, O-mitz, and A-cam. Vixens have "O-" names and dog foxes have "A-" names. Dog foxes change their names to reflect their mates. A-ran changed his name to A-ho after coupling with O-ho. Camio is the Odd Name Out because he's American.
  • Animal Religion:
    • Foxes worship the winds.
    • The fox afterlife is Perfect Here.
    • The world was built by gods such as A-O the fox and Sen-Sen the wolf.
    • Foxes pray before and after eating. They also pray before entering dens.
  • Anthropomorphic Personification: Foxes believe the moon is detached spirit of the sun. Winds are also seen as deities.
  • Death of a Child: Of O-ha's first litter, there are no survivors. Of her second, only half survive.
  • Ear Notch: A-ho's right ear has a v-shaped clip that he received as a cub, playing with his siblings.
  • Humans Are Cthulhu: Foxes fear humans so much that their Creation Myth has humans being born of the sea-of-chaos. O-ha considers them "unreachable", but not unnatural.
  • Driven to Suicide: A-konkon commits ritual suicide and causes the humans to worry there's a rabies outbreak.
  • "Just So" Story: In the days of Firstdark, when the universe was dark, Groff came and created the sun for humans to hunt. He plunged his hand into the dirt and came up with a ball of fire. When he threw the sun into the sky, its soul detached into the moon.
  • Mature Animal Story: The story is about red foxes, but it's not aimed at kids. To start off, it has a fairly graphic depiction of mating early on.
  • Nature Spirit: Foxes worship the winds. Each individual wind is a deity.

Alternative Title(s): The Foxes Of Firstdark