Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

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Saturday, May 23, 2009

LIZ CLANCY: The story of Llwynog

It is always nice to be able to introduce you all to a new guest blogger. Possibly the nicest thing about the CFZ bloggo is that it is a living, breathing community, and new people arrive on a regular basis. I can't tell you anything about Liz, apart from the fact that she bought some books from us at Uncon, briefly spoke to Richard, and had a charmingly old-fashioned habit of referring to me as `Mr Downes`, when everyone else calls me `Jon` or `Hey You` (or sometimes something more scatological), until I told her not to. She is obviously one to watch, and she tells me in her latest e:mail that she is getting "addicted" to writing for the CFZ bloggo.

Everyone's a winner!...

After seeing the video on the CFZ blog the other night of the insanely cute fox begging for food, Mum and I went shopping and who should run across the path of our car (thankfully, making it to the other side of the road) but a tiny, tiny fox cub who I hope found his mother in the woods he disappeared into. This incident put me in mind of another orphaned little cutie.

My great-great-grandfather William Jones (of recent bee-blog fame) found one of those horrid poachers’ traps on his land early one morning and with his little paw caught was a very young male fox cub. Will duly freed the furry chap, leaving him there to be rescued by his mother. When my ancestor came back in the evening, however, the cub was still there so taking him back to the farmhouse, Will gave the fox a bowl of milk and bathed and bandaged his leg.

Llwynog (the Welsh word for fox; Will couldn’t think of a better name for him) stopped with the Joneses for the next few years. He had the run of the farm by day but in the evening would always howl to be let in so he could snuggle up with the dog in front of the fire.

One night, however, he didn’t come home. The family was distraught. Will took his elder sons out to look for Llwynog but they never found him.

A year passed. Will was just about to go to bed when he heard the familiar howl of his lost pal. Opening the front door, sure enough, there he saw Llwynog. Will went out to him. Llwynog turned and barked, then looked back at his former master. Moments later another fox; a vixen; crept into the yard, shyly, and waited by the gate. Next two tiny cubs appeared, keeping close to their mother.

As Will bent down to stroke his fox the young family left the yard. Llwynog barked once more and followed them. Old Will never saw his Llwynog again.

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