Through the Eyes of a Red Fox

Poking my head out of my hiding place, I look around at the gradually darkening world. This is just the way I like it. Everything starts getting quiet around this time. The animals awake during the bright light start moving towards their own dens and make way for me to come out.

The cold powder that covers the ground during much colder days has long since turned into water and run away. As I crawl out of the brush, I lift my nose in the air and sniff, catching smells on the gentle wind rolling over the plants in my mountain home. I detect all the familiar scents… and one new one. It stops me in my tracks. Crouching as if frozen, my ears perk up, listening for any strange and unfamiliar sounds.

A sound I have never heard before reaches my ears. The sound of another animal. Or maybe many animals. The songs are quick and their calls sharp. Listening hard, I realize that they are getting closer to my den and where I stand. I crouch even lower in the brush around me and keep my eyes open for the animals that come. They walk along the ground, as I do, for their feet make loud noises as they approach.

Finally, the first of the animals comes into view. It is much taller than me and walks with its teeth bared. It throws its head back and lets out the strange call, like the chittering of the small rodents that I eat, but much louder. These are obviously creatures of the bright light. They do not know how to be quiet like I do. I wonder why they are out now. The other animals come into view, making the same calls. They walk a few steps away from my den, but do not spot me in the twilight.

Moving past me, they continue walking along the waterway. I pause for a second, thinking about my next move, then decide to follow them. Crouching as low as I can, I follow the sounds of their moving feet, which is not difficult. They continue chattering while I quickly and quietly crawl toward them, my curiosity getting the best of me. Following them a little way, they finally stop by the water and crouch to fill some vessels they carry. Standing back up they continue to walk away.

This is my chance to investigate. I crawl toward the water, ears held up to listen if their footsteps return. Down where they filled their vessels, my nose explores their scent, sniffing the ground on which they walked and sniffing at the water. Their footsteps smell like earth and some other smells I cannot identify. They must be from far away, for I have explored much of the area with my nose. My nose knows all in my domain. The water smells no different; just the same fresh scent as before.

Losing interest, I stand back up. The creatures’ sounds have faded. I start to feel my hunger rising and my attention focuses on the emptiness in my stomach. Immediately, I forget about the strange creatures and turn my attention to more important things: food.