Fish Noir

March 24, 2014

red-herring_color new 450

RED HERRING

This week’s Illustration Friday theme is “red” and the first thing that popped into my addled brain was “red herring”. So I thought, hey,  I’ll redraw and repost this from a couple of years ago. What the heck, I’m on a roll.

Most mystery novel and film buffs know that a red herring is a plot device used in film noir, murder mysteries and suspense films, to distract the audience away from the more important aspect of the plot. The red herring can sometimes be a character, believed by the audience to be the killer, only to discover later in the film that they are innocent and another character, never even considered is, in fact, the murderer.

Now that you have your twist ending, do you know where the term red herring originated?

Wikipedia tells us:

A tradition whereby young hunting dogs in Britain were trained to follow a scent with the use of a “red” (salted and smoked) herring. This pungent fish would be dragged across a trail until the puppy learned to follow the scent. Later, when the dog was being trained to follow the faint odor of a fox or a badger, the trainer would drag a red herring (which has a much stronger odor) across the animal’s trail at right angles. The dog would eventually learn to follow the original scent rather than the stronger scent.

I’ve also heard that British fugitives in the 1800s would rub a herring across their trail, in order to divert the bloodhounds pursuing them.

All this talk is whetting my appetite for a bit of kipperes and toast (NOT!) and a Hitchcock film or two (YES!).

 

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12 Responses to “Fish Noir”


  1. Now lets see if we can start using ‘red herring rub’ to lure recipe seeking readers!


  2. Lovely drawing, fascinating background story.

  3. Susanna Says:

    this sure is a cool red haring!!

  4. faruffa Says:

    mi piace :o)

  5. lorlinda Says:

    Adorable as usual. Hugs. L

  6. artseafartsea Says:

    Veddy interesting. Love the Herring!


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