So this event didn’t exactly happen recently, but I think it deserves an honorable mention.
It was a typical sunny, summer afternoon. I had just driven home from a soccer practice, which took about 20 minutes since I live out in the country. I neatly parked my car in my typical driveway parking spot, a.k.a. I parked like a four year old would park their Big Wheel bike-right in the middle of everything.
Upon exiting my vehicle, I turned to find the cutest, most innocent looking baby foxes that I had ever seen.
I found it odd that they seemed so comfortable being so close to me, but I didn’t devote much thought to it since I was so intrigued by them. As I watched, they walked around in lazy patterns, investigating and sniffing everything. They didn’t pay much attention to me, other than a cursory glance every now and then. I stood only about fifteen feet away from the closest fox, but I wanted to see how close I could get to one of them without them running.
My first thought was to entice them towards me with food. Looking around, I could see nothing edible to offer them. So, naturally, I grabbed one of my soccer shoes and held it out to the closest fox as unthreateningly as possible.
(Yep. You guessed it. That’s me….being an idiot….offering a fox my shoe.)
Of course the shoe immediately caught the fox’s attention. (Not that I was surprised. I mean, honestly, what self-respecting fox wouldn’t want my shoe?) Anyways, I began trying to coax the fox closer with what I considered a comforting voice. It took a minute of gentle prodding, but eventually it took the ‘bait’ and began to slink towards me.
When the fox’s nose was about one foot away from the shoe, it took a little sniff and immediately backed away. (Evidently even animals don’t like the smell of my feet.) However, I was not going to let this deter me from possibly touching that fox.
While still holding my shoe out as an offering, I gradually inched my way toward the fox. Apparently the fox took my pretend offering more seriously than I did, because as soon as I was in arms reach it darted forward, yanked my shoe from of my hands and took off toward to cornfield on the far side of my yard.
(In hindsight, I probably should have realized that offering my shoe wasn’t the most brilliant idea, but I wanted to pet that creature and logic was not going to get in my way.)
I immediately began to pursue the baby fox, which easily out ran me. Without hesitating, the dirty little bastard dashed across my yard and into the cornfield. I figured that my ‘piece offering’ of a shoe was probably going to be lost for good but, just as the fox was entering the mass of corn, it dropped my shoe. I quickly snatched it up, just in case the fox decided to come back for it.
As I turned toward my house, I saw the second fox quietly slink out from behind my car and pick up my other shoe from where I had left it on the driveway. My first though was, “Well…. shit,” and my second thought was, “These foxes used to look so innocent. Now they just look like assholes.”
I prepared myself for another chase, but this time the fox didn’t run away. In fact, he ran right toward me. (I say he because I’m assuming it was a boy, since I doubt a lady fox would be willing to touch something that smelled that awful.) Stopping only about ten feet from me, he sat down with my shoe in front of himand just stared at me.
I crept forward to try to take the shoe back but, as I neared the fox, it snatched the shoe up and ran another ten feet away just to sit right back down and stare at me. Evidently he saw this as a game, one that he was clearly better than me at.
The cycle of me attacking and him evading went on for a couple more rounds. With each repetition, the distance he ran away grew shorter. I think he realized that I stood no chance at out running him, and so he began to see how close I could get to him without actually being able to catch him.
Either way, the dirty creature was taunting me and I wouldn’t stand for it. And I mean I literally would not stand for it. A second later, on my next attempt to take the shoe, I slipped in a patch of mud and fell flat on my face.
I think at this point the fox truly started to feel sorry for me finally gave up the game. My lack of ability to take the shoe back from him had clearly left him unimpressed, and I was left to watch as my second tormentor lazily trotted off into the distance.
In the end, both of my shoes managed to survive until the next soccer game, though my dignity took off along with the foxes.