I have been thinking about foxes lately. How they may be the next owls... So I took a chance to do a second, brief folklore post. Hope you dont mind! Let me start off with a diverse treasury - beads, jewelry, prints, fibers...
The term "foxy" in English is defined as meaning - as the obvious "having the qualities of a fox" - also "attractive" and "sexy", as well as "red-haired" . And "to outfox" means "to beat in a competition of wits", the synonym of "outguess", "outsmart" or "outwit"
The first fox folklore? from Aesop's Fables, dated 4 BC: A Fox once saw a Crow fly off with a piece of cheese in its beak and settle on a branch of a tree. "That's for me, as I am a Fox," said Master Reynard, and he walked up to the foot of the tree. "Good-day, Mistress Crow," he cried. "How well you are looking to-day: how glossy your feathers; how bright your eye. I feel sure your voice must surpass that of other birds, just as your figure does; let me hear but one song from you that I may greet you as the Queen of Birds." The Crow lifted up her head and began to caw her best, but the moment she opened her mouth the piece of cheese fell to the ground, only to be snapped up by Master Fox. "That will do," said he. "That was all I wanted. In exchange for your cheese I will give you a piece of advice for the future ."Do not trust flatterers."
- Reynard the fox has been a character appearing in literature and popular culture since the late 1100's. He is an anthropomorphized peasant/hero. The association with foxes and wily behavior, sly character, and trickiness seems to date this far into out cultural history. The Medieval Norman adventurer Robert Guiscard was nicknamed "Robert the Fox" as well as the Resourceful, the Cunning, the Wily - underlining the identification of such qualities with foxes.
|Moche fox effigy vessel AD 450-550|
- The Moche people of ancient Peru worshiped animals and often depicted the fox in their art.The Moche people believed the fox to be a warrior that would use his mind to fight. The fox would not ever use physical attack, only mental.
- The cunning Fox is commonly found in Native American mythology, where it is portrayed as a Trickster, and common companion to coyote. Fox, however, is a deceitful companion who often steals Coyote's food. In the Achomawi creation myth, Fox and Coyote are the co-creators of the world, who leave just before the arrival of humans. An Inuit story tells of how Fox, portrayed as a beautiful woman, tricks a hunter into marrying her, only to resume her true form and leave after he offends her.
- In Chinese, Japanese, and Korean folklores, foxes (huli jing in China, kitsune in Japan, and kumiho in Korea) are powerful spirits that are known for their highly mischievous and cunning nature, and they often take on the form of female humans to seduce men. In contemporary Chinese, the word "huli jing" is often used to describe a mistress negatively in an extramarital affair.
|"The Fox Maiden" by Susan Seddon Boulet (1941-1997).|
- Kitsune are closely associated with Inari, the Shinto deity of rice, agriculture and industry. Often depicted with multiple tales - the number of tales is an indicator of their increased wisdom, power, and age. They are spirit foxes, and can take on human form, usually that of a beautiful woman. Many tales tell of their human disguise slipping as a glimpse of their tale is seen. Other tales tell of their marriages to mortal men, bearing children that have supernatural powers. When the mortal discovers the kitsune's true nature, she must leave him. ( Very similar to selkie tales of the British Isles. )
The Kitsune page -a compilation of fox lore from across world cultures.
Fantastic Mr. Fox - need I say more?
The Fox Project - a UK group rehabilitating and releasing injured and orphaned foxes.