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Literature / Run Wild

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"Don't forget. If danger threatens, run with the wind."
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Run Wild is a series of children's books by Irish author Tom McCaughren. Set near Dublin, Run Wild tells the tale of a group of red foxes as they try to find a way to survive while being hunted by humans. They journey throughout the countryside and into the city as they try to escape danger.

The series consist of 7 books:

  1. Run With the Wind (1983)
  2. Run to the Earth (1984)
  3. Run Swift, Run Free (1986)
  4. Run to the Ark (1991)
  5. Run to the Wild Wood (1997)
  6. Run for Cover (1999)
  7. Run for the Hills (2016)

The first three books of the series are considered to be part of the 100 Greatest Books of Ireland.


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Run Wild provides examples of:

  • All of the Other Reindeer: Black Tip is the only fox around with a black tipped tail. His siblings used to tease him about it, making him shy but independent from a young age.
  • Animal Naming Conventions: Foxes are named after either things in nature or traits. Examples include Hop, Black Tip, and Fang.
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": Hunters are "shooters" and bullets are "pellets".
  • Death of a Child:
    • Prior to the story, two of Vickey's cubs were clubbed to death by hunters.
    • Black Tip's siblings died prior to adulthood.
  • Disney Death: Fang and Black Tip fought over the chance to make Vickey their mate. Black Tip seemingly killed Fang, but he was able to help revive Fang later.
  • A Lizard Named "Liz": Vickey is a fox vixen.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Black Tip is named for his unusual black-tipped tail.
    • Vickey is named because she's a vixen (a female fox).
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    • Fang is named because he fought hard against Black Tip.
  • Sole Survivor: Black Tip is the only one of his siblings who survived to adulthood. The others were killed by traps.
  • Stock Animal Name: Lampshaded with Vickey. Her name is explicitly called a "common fox name."
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