(Photo: Mircea Costina / Caters News/ Yahoo News)
What the fox is thinking:
This morning I woke up and it was cold. Not just chilly end of summer cold, but the taste of ice in the air that means winter is coming. Suddenly I was grateful for my thick undercoat which had anticipated this, and had been growing in thick and hot for a few weeks. Terrible and annoying when it's still hitting 75 in the afternoons, those days I spent hours trying to scratch it off, rubbing against walls, trees, rocks, my tongue hanging loose and swollen like a dog's (no offense). But this morning I smelled the snow and tasted that burning cold in my mouth, and my pups were snuggled close against my belly, and I was thankful for the fact that Nature provides.
Time is so slow and dreamlike in fox time, in autumn, with the pups halfway mostly grown up and at the very least they wouldn't die if I were to disappear tomorrow. Any more likely than any regular fox that is. But the surreal death of the forest around me, of things turning dark and silver, yellow and red, is punctured by dozens of sharp gut wrenching terror. Every predator is out there trying to get plump and well fed before the world washes out, and there are still some hawks willing to try for a thin adolescent pup. So that sucks. It really sucks having your stress and adrenalin levels jacked up with no warning, over and over, randomly. It takes a toll on every system in your body. You don't know if you're tired or speedy, hungry or glutted, you can never be sure that you are actually relaxed even when you lay down in the dark on your bed and tell yourself deliberately and purposefully to fucking relax already. But just when it seems like it might be working, when you feel that maybe all the hairs on your arm aren't sticking up, here comes another barely there footstep or the far off cry and rush of wings, and boom you're up again and ready for attack and counting heads frantically.
Then come the hunting parties. Foppish stupid rich people on horses, with packs of you slavering hounds baying up and down the treelines. And it's bad enough to get killed, but to know you've been killed not for food, not because someone else was hungry, but because someone wants a new pair of gloves? That my wonderful thick oily undercoat, or the thick bushy tails of my children, are slaughtered just for fun, and then to have you, a distant cousin, a family relative, a brother of the sniff and dig and grab and bite, be the one assisting them! And you come sniffing all around my nest, and you're looking for my children or me or anything to kill to make your masters happy. I've tried talking to you lot before. I've tried having a nice drink of water and discussing where you and I fundamentally disagree about the natural order of power, appealing to the role of forest citizens we both have, and the responsibility to make sure things are balanced. That just enough dogs are killing just enough foxes, and just enough bears are killing just enough dogs, which is usually right around where talks break down. You've drunk the koolaid, or in this case I suspect, the whiskey. There is no reasoning with you. I refuse to waste another breath trying to convince you of the betrayal you've heaped upon your whole species, working with the rightful mortal enemy of free creatures everywhere, to brutally destroy your kin. You are a error, you should be put down.
So just walk the fuck away Dog.