|A Joke Backfires|
The victorious animals behind the captured poachers
|Episode No.||5 (18 overall)|
|UK Airdate||4 February 1994|
|Written by||Valerie Georgeson|
|Preceded by||New Enemies|
|Succeeded by||Home Is Where the Heart Is|
After a hard winter, spring is finally arriving. Food is becoming easier to find, so Fox decides to call off the food raids. Kestrel, Speedy and Whistler decide for a joke not to tell Owl. So Owl continues to raid dustbins and drop food for the animals. Meanwhile, Badger eventually asks Owl why she is still bringing food, and Owl is hurt that nobody told her. Owl flies off and spots the poachers entering the park, but cannot face telling Fox. She is beside herself with guilt when she hears a gunshot, and then hears that a fox has been shot dead. Owl believes that it is Fox who has been killed. Kestrel finds her extremely upset, and tells her that it was a young blue fox, one of Scarface's sons, who was killed. Scarface is furious that Fox has caused the death of his son, and gets Weasel to pass the message on to Fox. Fox is prepared to give himself up to the poachers, but Vixen persuades him that it would be a pointless sacrifice. The next time the poachers return, the deer herd chase them off by charging at them.
Vixen gives birth to four cubs, who are named Bold, Dreamer, Friendly and Charmer. Lady Blue has another litter of cubs, one is named Ranger. Mrs Rabbit also gives birth. Badger is worried about Mole, who is missing.
Kestrel brings the good news that The Warden has returned from hospital, though the poachers do not know this. The next evening the poachers return, shooting at anything that moves. Fox has an idea. He goes looking for the poachers and attracts their attention. They chase Fox through the park, as he leads them towards the Warden's cottage. Meanwhile, the other Farthing animals and the deer herd follow on behind. Near the Warden's cottage, the poachers take a shot at Fox, but miss. The gunfire attracts the attention of the Warden, who comes out with his gun to arrest the poachers. Behind them stands a victorious group of animals.
- This episode marks the birth and first appearance of Bold, Charmer, Dreamer, Friendly, Ranger, Ranger's sister, and the additional baby rabbits, and the last appearance of the poachers.
- On "The Challenge of Winter" VHS, some scenes were cut:
- The first scene where Owl drops a cabbage to the rabbits.
- Weasel and the White Stag and at the Stone Circle.
- The White Stag's meeting with Fox, Vixen and Badger.
- This episode also overlapped into the "Friends and Enemies" VHS, so "The Challange of Winter" VHS ends with Owl agreeing with Vixen saying how they value her. The two following shots were cut from both releases, so the "Friends and Enemies" VHS begins with the wardern's and then carries on up to the shot of the sun sitting low on the horizon before continuing with the shot where Dreamer is trying to wonder away from the group. Because of this, both encounters with the poachers happen on the same night.
- On the "Friends and Enemies" VHS also, some scenes were cut:
- Weasel's prank.
- All the scenes between the herons wondering what Owl wants to the deer driving out the poachers.
- All the scenes between the sun setting and Owl's meeting with Fox and Vixen.
- Because both nights with the poachers overlapped on the "Friends and Enemies" VHS, Owl, when she saw the poachers coming into the park, flew off to alert Fox and Vixen instead of the herons. However the shot where Owl hooted to alert the herons remained on the release, as it overlapped with the shot where Weasel sighs with relief over the poachers' gun shot scaring Lady Blue away and stopping her from chasing her.
|Series and Episodes|
|Series 1 (1993) • Series 2 (1994) • Series 3 (1995)|
|Series 1 episodes (1993)|
|The Wood in Danger • The Journey Begins • Through Fire and Through Water • False Haven • Snare for the Unwary • Who Shall Wear the Crown? • New Friends, Old Enemies • Friends in Need • Whistler's Quarry • Between Two Evils • A Deathly Calm • Pandemonium • So near and yet so far...|
|Series 2 episodes (1994)|
|A Heroes' Welcome • Winter • Survival • New Enemies • A Joke Backfires • Home Is Where the Heart Is • The Feud Begins • Like Father, Like Son • Narrow Escapes • Shadows • A Time of Reckoning • Blood Is Thicker Than Water • Reconciliation|
|Series 3 episodes (1995)|
|Comings and Goings • Out and About • Water, Water • The Missing Fox's Friend • Tiffs and Tempers • Adventure for the Birds • The Long-Tailed Visitor • Scared Silly by Snakes • A Bigger Oink • The Mole Game • The Worst Kind of Hurricane • Homeward Bound • Bully-Bully-Bully|