On meeting a fox

Earlier today I approached the edge of a wooded area on foot and saw a fox, who was clearly surprised to see me. It turned tail and headed back into the woods a bit, then stopped, stood still, and looked at me. I just looked back, happy to see it, and trying to send “I come in peace” vibes. In this suburban area, foxes are not a wildly uncommon sight, but infrequent enough that I consider a sighting special. Plus, um, they don’t bother me or other people so far as I know – nobody is raising chickens or other livestock around here for them to attack and so forth – so I don’t have any reason to take issue with them.

The fox appeared to be an adult, in good health, not limping, bleeding, or frothing at the mouth. I mention all that because what the fox did next was very unusual in my estimation. It looked away from me, initially, nosing some low-lying vegetation and then trotted a bit further into the woods and lay down. I mean it curled up they way they do on TV! (TV is my reference point for fox and most wildlife behavior. I’ve only ever seen real-life foxes running away; that’s what they typically do when they see me or other humans to the best of my knowledge.) I couldn’t help it; although I’d been silent till that point, when the fox curled up on the ground, I automatically said, “Awww.” Mind you, it was still maintaining eye contact, but that comfort level it had, both surprised and pleased me.

In time I went on about my business nearby and when I looked again for it, the fox was trotting to a little hill where it looked back at me.  We made eye contact again for a moment and then went our separate ways.

 

17 thoughts on “On meeting a fox

  1. Array

    That’s a cool experience. I’d guess that you would frighten a fox more than you did. I see them around here once in a great while, but have never had a personal encounter with one like you did.

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  2. Pistachios

    I don’t even know if we have foxes in Australia 🤔
    I imagine your reaction to the fox is like mine to tawny frogmouths, which are a nocturnal bird that’s common enough but I encounter them infrequently enough that each meeting still has a bit of magic to it

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    1. writerinsoul Post author

      Tawny frogmouth is a most excellent name. I’m pretty sure we don’t have them in the U.S.😁 I suppose there are parts of the country here where foxes are a nuisance. (I’ve seen enough TV shows where foxes get into chicken coops & kill all the chickens & people get pretty upset.) There are no wild predators for foxes or deer where I live and I wonder if the foxes will overpopulate like the deer have.

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        1. writerinsoul Post author

          They are beautiful and mostly peaceful (yep, I’ve heard of deer attacks too & one actually got aggressive with me once which was very strange). The trouble here and in many parts of the states is that, since they have no predators (other than hunters where it’s allowed), the population grows and they run out of food sources and start to eat people’s gardens and plants. There’s lots of car accidents involving deer as well but probably more so in rural areas. I’m still happy when I see deer though!

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  3. Maggie Wilson

    It sounds like your message “I come in peace” was received. We have foxes up here – we see their tracks and can smell their markings regularly. On occasion we see one as we walk along, but usually they skedaddle long before we are close.

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    1. writerinsoul Post author

      I expect you get more snow and hence more tracks! I don’t know why this one seemed relatively comfortable but it was special to see. Usually if an animal acts that out of character there’s something wrong with it.😕

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  4. Paula Readman

    I love it when the natural world is so giving. You can’t buy such treasures.
    In 2015 my husband and I sat at my dying mother’s bedside. After she passed away we left the nursing home 2.00 in the morning. The first sight we saw was two red foxes, they ran along side our car before disappearing from sight. As we headed out towards our village two barn owl appeared out of the darkness and flew across the road in front of us.
    It was as though the wild creatures were telling me her spirit had returned to the natural world.
    On the day of her funeral a rainbow 🌈 appeared in the sky.

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    1. writerinsoul Post author

      Paula, I’ve had similar – albeit infrequent – experiences, where you absolutely know you’re on the receiving end of some kind of transcendent message, when the curtains that separate us (from all other living things) are briefly thrown open. It is quite amazing. Thanks for telling me that.

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