Fred Fox

Created by James Thurber

A parody of the tough guy P.I. story, in which all the characters are animals in the forest?


It’s a wandering rabbit job, with hard-boiled, rye-drinking FRED FOX called in by old Mrs. Rabbit to find Daphne, one of her descendants.

As you might guess, old Mrs. Rabbit has a lot of descendants. Thirty-nine thousand by her count. Among the suspects and colourful woodland creatures Fred encounters are Franz Frog, owner of the notorious Lily Pad Night Club; Ben Rat, hired muscle; Oliver “Hoot” Owl, a notorious fly-by-night and Sherman Stork, as well as members of the local Constabulary, Inspector Mastiff and Sergeant Daschund.

The story imagined “how the boys who turn out the mystery programs on the air (radio back then) might write a story for children.” The author, of course, was James Thurber, the beloved American humorist and cartoonist James Thurber.

Biggest disappointment? Thurber, whose witty, incisive cartoons graced the pages of The New Yorker for ages, never illustrated “The White Rabbit Caper.”


  • “The White Rabbit Caper” (November 19, 1941, The New Yorker)


  • Thurber on Crime (1991) | Buy this book 
    A collection of Thurber’s pieces and cartoons on crime, including “The White Rabbit Caper” and “The Macbeth Murder Method.”


Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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