Saturday, April 25, 2015

V is for Vixen

All was going well, as well as it could for an underprivileged Negro living in the deep south during the 1940's. I'm talking about Earnestine's life. I was excited to share tidbits of her story with you, writing about her for the letter "E" of the A to Z Challenge.

As I was saying, all was reasonably well, until Kyane came to town. Earnestine didn't know what to make of her. Was she black or white, rich or poor, human or not--who knew. She seemed around her age but so different from the other girls she knew.

Quickly Kyane inserted herself into Earnestine's family life, cracking it wide open like an ornery walnut. From that time forward, she had her own name for Kyane, as derogatory as it was. This girl, that was part animal, woman and thing, was forever to be known as the Vixen to Earnestine, her mother, aunts, uncles and cousins. Her brother and sister, the twins, were much too young to grasp the full meaning of a vixen. The unpleasant name tripped awkwardly off their tongues too.

Thumbing through the English Oxford Dictionary to the "V" section, you'll see the second definition of a vixen is a spiteful or quarrelsome woman. Merriam Webster calls a vixen a sexually attractive woman. Kyane was that and so much more. All you'd have to do is to listen to what her father had to say to be sure.


14 comments:

  1. Makes female foxes ashamed.

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  2. Jo, why we humans have to malign animals so badly, I'll never know.

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  3. This a bit off topics but when I read the title this is what I thought of... I once had an online alias named Vena. As Vena I was a sexy and fierce woman. People would call me a vixen and it was fun because I'm nothing like that in real life.

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  4. I always liked the term Vixen since I don't think of it as a bad thing really. They may be sexy and beguiling but that doesn't mean they are mean. I enjoyed your read-quite interesting

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  5. Hi Stephanie .. interesting read and something to think about ... a moral tale here ... we don't need to cause problems for our family - yet of course different peoples give us different takes on life .. and Vixen's are usually lacking in confidence and need support ... cheers Hilary

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  6. 'Vixen' does raise both sides doesn't it .. siren and also very mean - interesting the meanings - thanks Stephanie

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    1. My pleasure Susan. Thanks for being here.

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  7. I always associated "vixen" with sexy and vindictive, but never just quarrelsome. I didn't know it could have so many connotations!

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    1. I guess the vindictiveness leads to quarrels. Thanks for stopping in Stephanie.

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  8. I'm drawn to characters that are different from everyone else. Human or not... Intriguing!

    Annalisa, writing A-Z vignettes, at Wake Up, Eat, Write, Sleep

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