How to be Human by Paula Cocozza

How to be Human

Paula Cocozza

A foundling, a shape-shifting wild animal and an urban wilderness make up the fairy tale elements of a modern fable – or is it? In this dreamlike blurring of everyday reality and the supernatural, we follow the human protagonist as she forges an unusual relationship with a visiting fox, while the vivid imagery lends an unsettling aura of enchantment, and we begin to fear for her sanity.

Extract

After work that day, Mary came straight home and lay on the blanket in the garden. She was dozing when the fox’s mellow spice began to solidify around her. The scent gave her the sense that she had awoken in his home, and when she turned her neck to see him nosing at the corner of her rug, it was not fear she felt but relief, because she had not imagined his presence but accurately divined it. They eyed each other cautiously. They both knew their relationship was entering a new phase.

Parallels
  • The Bear by Marian Engel
  • The Fox by D H Lawrence