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.