In mythology the fox is often portrayed as a cunning trickster though seldom evil. In a famous fable, a fox tricks a raven out of its dinner through the use of flattery.
Red Foxes coexist with humans in many urban areas and I have been able to photograph a few.
This one was in my backyard.
A melanistic (meaning “lots of black pigment”) was at Col. Sam Smith Park for a time.
During my recent visit to L’Aquarium du Québec, I was able to photograph some Arctic Foxes.
Arctic Foxes are common throughout the Arctic tundra region.
This fox preys on lemmings, voles, seal pups, fish, waterfowl and seabirds.
It also eats carrion, berries, seaweed, and insects and other small invertebrates.
They, in turn, are preyed on by golden eagles, wolves, polar bears, wolverines and grizzly bears.
Arctic Foxes must endure temperature differences of up to 100 degrees C between summer and winter.
The Raven and the Fox
Mr. Raven was perched upon a limb,
And Reynard the Fox looked up at him;
For the Raven held in his great big beak
A morsel the Fox would go far to seek.
Said the Fox, in admiring tones: “My word!
Sir Raven, you are a handsome bird.
Such feathers! If you would only sing,
The birds of these woods would call you King.”
The Raven, who did not see the joke,
Forgot that his voice was just a croak.
He opened his beak, in his foolish pride –
And down fell the morsel the Fox had spied.
“Ha-ha!” said the Fox. “And now you see
You should not listen to flattery.
Vanity, Sir is a horrid vice –
I’m sure the lesson is worth the price.”
Maître Corbeau, sur un arbre perché,
Tenait en son bec un fromage.
Maître Renard, par l’odeur alléché,
Lui tint à peu près ce langage :
«Hé ! bonjour, Monsieur du Corbeau.
Que vous êtes joli ! que vous me semblez beau !
Sans mentir, si votre ramage
Se rapporte à votre plumage,
Vous êtes le Phénix des hôtes de ces bois.»
A ces mots le Corbeau ne se sent pas de joie ;
Et pour montrer sa belle voix,
Il ouvre un large bec, laisse tomber sa proie.
Le Renard s’en saisit, et dit : «Mon bon Monsieur,
Apprenez que tout flatteur
Vit aux dépens de celui qui l’écoute :
Cette leçon vaut bien un fromage, sans doute.»
Le Corbeau, honteux et confus,
Jura, mais un peu tard, qu’on ne l’y prendrait plus.
Jean De La Fontaine