Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Culture
  2. Poetry & Stories
18 March 2020updated 09 Sep 2021 3:42pm

Domestic Fox Physiognomy

A new poem by Claudine Toutoungi.

By Claudine Toutoungi

The conclusion reached by Russian scientists after decades 
spent domesticating foxes was profound but hardly unexpected:
If you’re going to be tame, be cute. Less chance you’ll be flushed 

down the toilet. I think about that on brutal, baby-filled 
commutes and whether any of the team, Goran, say, or Vlad
ever mistook on a certain cub, its white markings for a bib and 

placed it in a bassinet – fell to coddling it with sugar-cubes, toy 
ducks and songs about the wide, embracing arms of Mother 
Russia. Gave it ear muffs. Made it a scarf. 

Claudine Toutoungi’s debut collection Smoothie was published in 2017; her next collection Two Tongues will be published by Carcanet in October.

Select and enter your email address Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU

Content from our partners
Harnessing breakthrough thinking
Are we there yet with electric cars? The EV story – with Wejo
Sherif Tawfik: The Middle East and Africa are ready to lead on the climate

Topics in this article :

This article appears in the 18 Mar 2020 issue of the New Statesman, The final reckoning