"Crafty as a fox." "Sneaky as a fox." "A fox in the hen house." "What a little vixen." These are some phrases in our vernacular that compare humans to certain traits we've interpreted by observing fox behavior. I say interpreted because we've assumed that we understand the foxes behaviors based on ours!
Our Shared History
Foxes have lived with humans in the countryside, suburbia and even in some urban areas as long as we can remember. There are 12 species of true foxes, 47 sub-species and another 25 (current and extinct) that are called foxes. They live on every continent except Antarctica, and as such, are one of the Earth's most successful beings!
Due to their adaptability to all sorts of conditions -- the snow and ice of the arctic to the the dry hot deserts, their flexibility with their diets, foxes are extraordinary by any measurement.
Is adaptability instinctual? Is it learned? What is cognition anyway? Foxes survive because they learn. They work together to raise pups. They form loving, lasting bonds. They certainly know how to play and have fun and they are successful hunter gatherers. Although categorized as a carnivore, foxes can survive on a diet of insects, roots, fruits, berries, etc, when necessary. However, in order to thrive, they require prey in the form of mice, voles, small mammals, birds, and eggs. Contrary to what some farmers believe, they are not a nuisance, but an ally, hunting insects and mice that would infect or eat valuable crops. Taking chickens is more often the work of an old fox who is no longer nimble enough to catch their normal prey.
What Can Fox Teach You?
In his book, Animal Speak, author Ted Andrews shares what fox has taught indigenous cultures. He writes that foxes represent the feminine magic of camouflage, shape shifting and invisibility, and fox "can teach these skills to those whose life it enters." Fox carries dog traits and cat traits. Superb hearing, a keen sense of smell ,the ability to trot for long distances and climb trees when necessary. They hunt more like a cat does and "charm" their prey with silly antics, all the while getting closer and closer, until within catching distance. What can Fox teach you?
Join the Harmony Pack on Wednesday, June 27th to participate in our next "Conversation with the Wild Ones," as we connect with the Fox Council to find out what they want to teach us. Click Here.