Me and the fox … and nothing … or everything

Last night I woke up at 3.15 a.m. with a jolt. Something had woken me. But all was silent.

I lay in my bed listening … to nothing. No creaking staircase. No banging door. No wind in the trees. No rain on the window. Nothing.

Then, as sudden and as short as a gunshot, a shriek. Or was it a yelp? Or a bark?

I immediately knew what had stirred me from my slumbers. The Vixen’s Scream, the high-pitched bark of a female fox during the mating season. It’s a well-known sound in the January countryside. At least, it is if you’re such a light sleeper as I am.

It came again. And again. And again. Four, five, six times, maybe more. Short, sharp, staccato barks, each ending in a question mark.But she received no answer. It was just me and the fox. Nothing else.

And yet, as I listened, I felt somehow attached to the fox. Bonded, in some strange way.

There was I, listening. There was she, yelping. Just the two of us.

A bond? Ridiculous, I thought, what do I have in common with a fox? Well, actually quite a lot.

Atoms and molecules. Amino acids and proteins. DNA and RNA. Cells and tissues.

Nerves and organs. Muscles and tissues. Bones and joints.

Senses. Feelings. Longings. Disappointments.

The breath of life.

Was all that creating a bond?

Or was it because I was sensing an awareness of the sacred, invisible, divine presence that is found in us and in the natural world?

Maybe it wasn’t only me and the fox, after all.


  1. First of all, I love how you described your experience with the fox, “I felt somehow attached to the fox. Bonded, in some strange way.”

    I too had an unexpected ’empathetic bond’ to one of God’s creatures. Reading your post confirms that inspiration and connection expands beyond human relationships and reminds me that I’m never too important to see my reflection in one of God’s creatures.


    • Thanks for your comment. And thanks for the link to your equally interesting story. I am well aware that sometimes we are surprised by these encounters, yet xxx years ago they would have been the norm. Maybe even today there are groups of people for whom such encounters are ordinary and everyday. Maybe we have become so separated from nature that generally we fail to recognize it, even when it’s staring us in the face (like your bug) or waking me at night.


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