Friday, 28 August 2009

The fox

As the fox passed our window early one morning, I grabbed the camera and went out, wondering why the fox was so unafraid.

The fox ran around me like a dog. Curious, playful, intelligent. There’s something alluring about friendly encounters with wild animals. It’s easy to think that you’re experiencing the world like it was meant to be.

Hunters and trappers will often claim nature as brutal, in order to have a moral right to do their own killing. I think it’s interesting when, say, wolf hunters get indignant at the way wolves hunt. But this discussion is not getting anywhere. I’ve met enough hunters to know when they start to circle their wagons of belief. I’m not against hunting, either; I’m against certain types of hunters.

The fox sat down and yawned. I guess it’d been a long night. Then he suddenly sensed something a couple of meters away. He arched over and dived down with the nose deep in the snow. Up came a lemming.

It felt like I'd gotten a friend for life, but we never saw this particular fox again. Maybe it got trapped. Maybe the fur hangs in the closet of a bourgeois woman. Or maybe the fox had more important things to do, than hang around with me.

The fox acted as it was tame, even domesticated, but it had probably never seen humans before. This is the alluring thing about encounters with truly wild animals; they sometimes act as if humans aren’t dangerous. They don’t know better.