I was thinking about the fourlegs and how people don’t always give them credit for how intelligent they are.
It made me think of a time I was out running with a friend of mine I’ve known for years, and like a sister to me.
As we were running a fox fell in alongside of us about ten yards or so off to my right side and ran along with us for about two miles. If we quickened the pace he did as well, if we slowed down he did also . We kept running and would speak a word or two to him on occasion.
We came to a stream we would have to have cross that was about knee high at it’s deepest point, we splashed our way across and then standing a few yards from the bank turned to watch and see what he would do-figuring he would have to swim at the deepest part and might not care to.
He sat there for a minute or so studying the situation-there were stones scattered about that a person could use to get across if they didn’t want to get wet, but only a specific pattern would work you might not see at first.
Deciding on the right approach he crossed over using the stones ,the very pattern best suited to the task, in such a manner that it spoke to having reasoned the thing out and making the right choice.
We were amazed, laughed, and complimented him-then turned and began running again-he joined us for about another half mile and then veered off in a different direction.
A little a later and a little further on after it had rained some we stopped, I took off a t-shirt I was wearing to wring the water out and my friend did likewise-as she turned aside she began to laugh and said “look at this”.
When I did I saw this same fox in the brush a few feet away watching her-we both cracked up, and she said she had never known that a fox could be a peeping tom.
Like all peeping toms though, once discovered he fled the scene.
Later whenever we happened to be in a post office we would look to see if his picture was among the wanted posters-as it never was we decided he was too slick and avoided apprehension.
I’ve seen foxes do some things that will startle you, they are very intelligent and seem to have a love of playing, and a sense of humor.
Coyotes won’t tolerate them in their territory, wolves won’t tolerate coyotes in theirs -a part of the natural order I suppose. Some people seem to have the same attitude-but there isn’t much that’s natural left in what people have created for themselves.
A fox may take a chicken or two if the opportunity arises, and isn’t above browsing a vegetable garden either-but in the end they’re merely trying to get by in an increasingly harsh world, and I begrudge them nothing.
We would do well to remember they are a nation in their own right-one that has existed at least as long, if not longer, than our own.