The Little Foxes



"When I was very young, probably about 4 or 5, I was walking home from my Aunt's house. I had to cut across the hayfield to get home. She had just made bread and was sending a loaf home with me. It was still warm from the oven and it smelled like heaven. I was just at the edge of the field when I heard my Aunt yelling for me to turn around. I turned, and hot on my heels about twenty yards away, there was a red fox. It was Spring, and he was lanky and thin from Winter, so I am sure that bread smelled like heaven to him too. She was yelling for me to throw the bread and run, but having been around canines all of my life, I knew that running meant he would most likely give chase. And my parents would have been angry with me for throwing the bread, so I just stood there until he got about ten feet away and then I started screaming like a dying calf in a hail storm. The fox stopped and gave me the most curious look, then turned and trotted on down the dry creek bed that ran the edge of the hayfield. To this day, I thank my lucky stars for that. It was only a couple months later that there was a big outbreak of rabies in the foxes and skunks around our area."
--Dee Puett, Photographer 






8 comments:

  1. The phrase "little foxes" comes from Song of Solomon 2:15, describing creatures that spoil the vineyards. Interestingly, some propose that these "little foxes" are actually flying foxes, i.e. fruit bats!

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    1. What would flying foxes be doing in King Solomon's homeland? D:

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    2. Song of Solomon is a great favorite of mine, but I've always found the "little foxes" passage a bit puzzling.

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  2. Egyptian fruit bats live in Israel. I see them quite often.

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  3. Interesting theory, but for my money the translation is pretty straightforward: foxes, not flying foxes. Foxes are more omnivorous than wolves or even coyotes, often consuming significant amounts of fruit. Remember Aesop's fable "The Fox and the Grapes?" Evidently foxes missed the memo about grapes being toxic to dogs, as they will happily raid grape arbors and melon beds, and I've heard of grays eating sweet corn like raccoons.

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    1. Well, I doubt foxes give a damn about the rules for dogs... grey foxes even climb trees. They may be canids but they are a different kind of animal altogether...

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    2. Yes, grays are good climbers: a big vixen that used to hang out near my house was adept at stealing suet hung well up in trees for birds. Reds, actually, can climb fairly well if they have to, although they seem more dependent on an invitingly slanted trunk or a running jump into low branches. As far as foxes' relationship to dogs--no, they're not "dogs" as we define that term narrowly: wolves, jackals/coyotes (and however you figure the domestic dog fits in there.) But in the broad sense of "canid", it's interesting that they can eat fruit which is generally thought bad for dogs. Then again, probably any number of primates can eat things which would make us sick.

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    3. Incidentally, I have known a few dogs who really liked to eat fruit. To name one, my neighbor had an Australian cattle dog that frequently raided the water melon patch.

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