Encounter with a Fox

I was sat outside earlier in the half-light, enjoying nightfall, when something happened that I hadn’t experienced for perhaps over a year. As I gazed up the length of my garden towards the hills and trees behind my home, I heard the faintest rustling, then a large fox appeared through the long grass, although I don’t know if it was a dog or a vixen. I just sat there quietly, to be rewarded by this beautiful animal doing exactly the same thing, sitting down, curling its tail around its haunches and just staring intently at me from around 6 feet away. He or she was little more than a silhouette, but I knew I was being stared at closely by some other creature trying to get through the night, and it was a good feeling. We both just sat there in silence for a few minutes, then the fox yawned and eventually slunk off back into the shadows from which he or she had appeared, leaving me feeling as if some benevolent, elemental spirit had planted a soft kiss on me before disappearing back into the Otherworld of dusk.

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11 Responses to Encounter with a Fox

  1. satanicviews says:

    Simple encounters in nature like that grounds the individual back into reality, easily snatched away by the chaos of human civilization.

    Liked by 1 person

    • eternalidol says:

      As far as I’m concerned, it’s the simplest thing in the world to be able to perceive the staggering beauty of the land around me and thence to be instantly “far from the madding crowd”, while it’s good to know that someone else shares my views on these matters – thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Juris Ozols says:

    Dennis –

    Nice story, I can appreciate your delight in that nocturnal encounter.

    By coincidence the National Geographic photo of the day for April 22 is also a beautiful shot of a fox albeit in the daytime so you can see the colors:

    http://photography.nationalgeographic.com/photography/photo-of-the-day/

    Juris

    Liked by 1 person

    • eternalidol says:

      Thank you very much for this, Juris – it’s a wonderful photograph of a wonderful animal. As you might be aware, opinion is fairly sharply divided here between those who see foxes as unclean vermin, fit only to be torn apart by packs of curs for the amusement of some human onlookers, and those of us who see them as a supremely beautiful part of our landscape. When this creature chose to stop, sit and regard me for as long as it did from the shadows, it was good for the soul.

      Like

  3. Dan Johnston says:

    Dennis
    Your account reminded me of a similar encounter that occurred in 1966 during a summer night in the Badlands of South Dakota. My brother and I were camping in the Sage Creek Basin, a wilderness area in the heart of the strangest terrain on Earth. It was sometime during the darkest watch of the night with no moon and only the Milky Way blazing above us when we both awoke sensing something nearby. We looked around and after a while saw a small canine profile no more than 5 feet away from our heads. It was a coyote checking out the strange invaders of his territory. We discussed the possible need to reach for our 22 rifle but decided we’d leave well enough alone if he did. Suddenly, the entire eerie terrain of the Badlands was illuminated by a red ball of light coursing across the sky and illuminating our spirit animal clearly where before he had only been a profile against the starlit night. Mr Coyote did not appreciate being exposed and huffed, irritably, and loped off into the night. We debated whether the meteor, still blazing in the sky, was going to hit nearby abd whether we should run to a nearby butte for protection as the light grew stronger and, alarmingly, closer. Before we could act, the meteor disappeared behind a butte to the east and darkness rushed back. This was probably the strangest natural event I’ve witnessed in my life and I have always wondered if the coyote was a spirit guide. Moments like this can only be savored and wondered at.

    Liked by 1 person

    • eternalidol says:

      Dan, I was fascinated by your story, but I find myself at the tail-end of another fractured night with a mad dog, so please bear with me and I’ll compose a reply later that will hopefully come somewhere near doing justice to what you’ve shared with us.

      Like

    • eternalidol says:

      Dan I was enthralled by your story, so thank you very much for sharing it with us. I gave it a lot of thought after you posted it, before I was properly able to reply, while it must be obvious that I envy you your near-apocalyptic vision in the Badlands.

      As for your closing sentence, I think you’ve encapsulated it perfectly here – on balance, I don’t think it matters if you’ve been beneath a blood-red sky in the Badlands with a spirit guide, if Aynslie sits gazing out to sea on her favourite rocky promontory, if Juris reclines in his boat on a mirror lake or if I’m clambering through a void inside Silbury Hill. It doesn’t matter if these things or others are supernatural in nature or of they’re simply breathtaking experiences in the ‘real’ world, because what they all have in common is that they inspire wonderment and reflection, sentiments that are supremely gratifying and uplifting, even if it’s next to impossible to accurately describe or quantify them. These ‘things’ are all miracles of Creation, whatever we believe Creation to be, and they enrich our lives immeasurably.

      Thank you again for a story that I’m not likely to forget in a hurry.

      Like

  4. Juris Ozols says:

    Given Dan’s delightful encounter with his fox, I’m inspired to add my own, but with a picture.

    A couple of decades ago my brother took my girlfriend and me on a wonderful raft float trip camping on the Karluk River on Kodiak Island, Alaska. Many adventures, including King Salmon, Eagles, and Grizzly Bears.

    But of interest here was a visit by a fox to our campsite one afternoon. To be honest, it was kind of scruffy, and not really colorful, but it came right up to us, nosed around a bit, perhaps drawn by the smells of the salmon we had caught, and then went on its way. No hint of fear of human beings at all.

    The picture shows my brother taking a video of the fox.

    Given the stories here, it makes me wonder about the curiosity and lack of fear that foxes seem to display. Other animals, including wolves and coyotes, are much more timid.

    We also had an extremely interesting encounter with a Kodiak Brown Bear — a Grizzly — that I’ll save for another time.

    Juris

    fox

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    • eternalidol says:

      I just loved all this, Juris, and thank you for the photo of this encounter as well. I know you weren’t disparaging the fox when you said he was “kind of scruffy and not really colourful”, but it nonetheless reminded me of some lines from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, when one of the characters (I forget who) was looking at the strange things on display in the shop of an apothecary, to be told “For naught so vile upon the Earth doth live, but to the Earth some special good doth give.”

      Thank you again!

      Like

  5. Dan Johnston says:

    Dennis and Juris
    Special transcendental moments are especially satisfying and await all of us if we have the eyes to see and the ears to hear. Unfortunately, our (and I use the term with some disgust) modern world has alienated much of the current generation from enjoying such life-enriching experiences. They await any person with the patience and awareness to seek them out but may interfere with the latest sitcom or vidiot game. I encourage my kids and grandkids to camp as often as life permits in the beauty and quiet of the natural world so they can gain a perspective on just how dissociated “civilization” is from the natural world. To sit motionless and watch the life in a forest, on an island full of bears, on a rocky coast or in the stillness of an English garden is a rare and soul-affirming exercise in survival in our modern age.

    Liked by 1 person

    • eternalidol says:

      Dan, I understand everything you’re saying and I agree with you whole-heartedly, as I’m sure you know. However, I would simply argue that it’s not even necessary to try to seek out these things. The chair that I was sat on when I saw this fox requires me to take TWO steps outside my back door, as I’m sure Aynslie will attest, so all I did was sit outside, nothing more, and my experience came to me.

      I’d go even further, because over the last 5 years or so, I’ve had 3 visitations here in my study and I’ll qualify this for the umpteenth time by affirming that I’m not psychic. I would guess that it’s simply down to chance, to my choice of music, the subdued lighting, the silence and my mind being active in a receptive way, if you follow me, but my point is that for transcendental experiences of real worth, it’s often not even necessary to leave one’s own home.

      Like

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