JF Ptak Science Books LLC Post 1015
In the ten-level history of blank thought none are more cardinally ninth-level than the abuse of animals–except of course the abuse of animals for sport. (As unspeakable as this is there is always another level of the truly unspeakable.) In the early 17th century, at about the same time that the two Electors of Saxony were legendarily and grossly dispatching animals of all shapes and sizes (including 110,530 deer, 54,200 wild boar, 6,607 wolves, 477 bears and all manner of small “prey”) 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 t 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.
Fleming’s Deutsche Jaeger (published in 1719) produced this (above) image, and commented on 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....”
Oscar Wilde famously skewered fox hunting, which pales in comparison to this thing; I find it difficult to imagine what he might have said about fox tossing.