The setting is a fox farm a few weeks before Christmas.
The story’s setting is significant because the story is about a girl who has to decide whether she wants to be feminine or a tomboy. She has harder decisions to make than some other girls, because men’s work involves killing and skinning foxes. What’s worse, they also have to kill horses to feed the foxes in the winter. At the time of the story, this is the narrator’s main concern.
They were fed horsemeat. At this time most farmers still kept horses, and when a horse got too old to work, or broke a leg or got down and would not get up, as they sometimes did, the owner would call my father ….
Although no year is given, there is a mention that it is “after the war,” and tractors are replacing horses. It is a period of transition for the farmers as well as the narrator. The fox farm relies on horse meat to feed the foxes, and the best source of cheap meat is old horses, which are becoming less and less available.