Sunday, June 11, 2006

Leave 'Em Alone










A few nights ago, I was coming home from an evening bike ride, and I ran into one of my old friends. I saw a furry something scurry up a little hill 10 feet in front of me and thought that a cat was hanging out in the bushes there. But no, it was a small fox, whose long bushy tail stuck straight out as it skittered over to the side of a house for protection. I saw the little fox peering at me from the corner of this house, and I began to talk to it very quietly. You see, I know these foxes. Each spring for the last five years, a female has given birth under a garage on the property where I live, and so I've developed a slow but well-formed relationship with many of the fox community who live in my neighborhood. As I talked gently to this one, she (I think I can tell gender now by little things like size, shape of head, behavior, etc). began to walk back up to me until she was a safe 8-10 ft. away, sitting next to a small tree. I asked her how she was, did she remember me ( I bet she did, as I'd been bike riding, and she'd know my scent from when she was born on my property months before) and how she'd been doing. She looked a little thin; they often do once they've left the birthing den and begin to strike out on their own. I spent maybe close to 5 minutes chatting with her, with me talking and she popping her ears up, astounded by the fact a person was talking to her, and then I eventually continued on my way so that no one would spot me, and then her. She had a look of sad wonderment on her face as I rode off; like why are you leaving so soon? Believe me, little fox, I did it for you.

Tonight, I took another late night bike ride, and saw no foxes. However, we had a bad car accident right on the corner, and so a lot of emergency vehicles were in the area, including even an animal control van, being used to block off the street from access to the accident scene (I think someone died; it was a pickup, a small car, and a motorcycle, all crumpled in the street, and they blocked off the scene for more than 6 hrs.). As I began my late night ride, the crash scene was still there, with technicians measuring off distances and so on. The animal control van was also still there, blocking access, and as I rode away, a local neighborhood troll walking her dog walked up to the van. I was almost a block away, but I could here the troll saying to the person in the van that foxes lived over there, pointing to my residence. No, they don't live there anymore; it's no longer spring, and they've disbursed throughout the neighborhood. They don't hurt anything (although I would not leave a small cat or little dog out at night with them about), and they're afraid of people, but they are really very sweet little animals, once you get to know them. Urban foxes are usually considered now just like squirrels or birds, a part of many urban environments these days. If you leave them alone and exercise good common sense, chances are you won't even know they exist, as they roam the night in search of sustenance.

I really hate the people that feel they have to meddle in business that is not their own; and that cannot coexist with nature, especially nature that causes them no harm. With a grandfather who was full-blood Apache, it is still in me to revere nature and our brothers and sisters in the animal world. I feel these urban foxes are being hunted out of existence, like the wolf once was on the plains, or like the Native American was, for that matter, and so I have a strong identification with, and passion for, their defense and safety. So then, like any good Native American, on my way back, I took my bike and circled once completely around the animal control van, with its driver, and the troll, and her dog, taking a good look at all of them. We call that "counting coup", going into enemy territory, unarmed and without fear; and "showing the flag", as the U.S. Army might might state it today (and with many other police types still in the area). All living things have a right to exist, and especially if they cause no harm, and that right should be respected. Mind your own business and go buy something plastic or electronic at Wal-Mart to occupy your time, you damn yuppie troll!!!

11 Comments:

Blogger willowtree said...

Hehe, be careful Frank, next thing you know she'll be sending the AC to come after you.
It's funny, I never forgot when you wrote about the foxes a while back. Where I live, the foxes wear suits. I never imagined people could be friends with foxes until I read your blog.
Even now, if Im telling my sister about something I read in your blog, I just say- the fox guy wrote it.

8:21 AM  
Blogger Colleen said...

have you seen them? are they still there?

10:05 AM  
Blogger Frank said...

Sending the AC?
"I am not an animal; I am a man!!!"
Hahahaha...
From the 1980 film, "The Elephant Man". (Which actually is a movie that will make you cry, if you haven't seen it).

The foxes have given birth early each year under the garage where I live, for the last 5 yrs., and they disburse about mid-spring throughout the neighborhood (and a big city park 2 blocks away). So if you're out at night, or early morning, you see them about occassionally, usually more in the fall and spring time. They're terrified of people, but I've had them come up to me at night while on my bike, because they recognize (?) me, and know that many times I have a little something, foodwise, for them. This happened once when I was talking to a lady in the area about them, another fox fan, while riding around. Some people here love them, and others despise them (though I don't know why - lack of understanding?)

12:49 PM  
Blogger Frank said...

Oh, and the stance of the State Div. of Wildlife (who has the jurisdiction) is just that; they are part of the urban ecosystem, like squirrels and birds, and are to be left alone, unless of course there was a rabies or plague issue involved (which I've never heard of for foxes, at least around here). I have never heard of a single case of a fox ever biting a person anywhere; they only weigh about 12-15 lbs!

And so they are still roaming the neighborhood now, at night-early morning. Animal Control is not concerned with them, unless like I said, a health issue was involved (which it's not).

12:56 PM  
Blogger Colleen said...

good, i'm glad they are safe

7:45 AM  
Blogger willowtree said...

Hehe, Frank you never know what your yuppie troll of a neighbor might do. Do you put it past her to call them for you? Since she's worrying about the foxes who arent even bothering her.
One counting coup too many, she'll be calling somebody.

2:02 PM  
Blogger Frank said...

I'll send some of my gnome friends after her. And you know that the gnomes do not like trolls, whatsoever!

Actually, haven't even seen her about for a few days. If she leaves me (and my lil' fox buddies) alone, we'll be cool. But if not, then its,
...Swarm gnomes, swarm, swarm!!!!

4:27 PM  
Blogger Åñèè§å said...

i didn't know u speak fox lol

11:31 PM  
Blogger Frank said...

Not only fox, but a bit of racoon also, though they are not as social as foxes. You never know what you'll run into, when out bike riding at night!

12:04 AM  
Blogger Jocelyn said...

what a jerk
i'm glad the foxes are okay though and it was nice of you to befriend them. there's something about foxes i really like.

2:39 PM  
Blogger Frank said...

Yep, there is a reason why the fox is in so much folklore about being wise and intelligent; it is very true, from my observations!

9:45 PM  

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