S pring at last! A long cold winter has passed and the warmth of the sun looks to give extra life to everything. This will be the first spring for a couple of young fox pups that have been bored to death all winter long. They could no wait to finish their breakfast and get out and chase the rodents in the field.
“Eat all your fish before you go out,” said their mother. “Your father got up very early to catch breakfast for us.”
“Ah, mom. We want to get out and catch a big deer like dad,” said the little brother fox.
“Yeah, we’re going to show dad that we are big and strong like him,” said the sister fox.
“Well, you two will just have to be patient.” Deer are much too fast for a couple of young pups like you. He may eat you for breakfast, “the mother said with a smile.
“Mom, deer do not eat foxes,” the pups protested.
“Well, I know. But do not go far from the den. You are not allowed to go past the old brown fence. The mother said sternly.
“Oh, yes. We will not, said both the eager fox pups.
“Good morning everyone,” said the strong father fox. He seemed to always be proud of his family. It was as if nothing else mattered in his life but the provision and protection of his family.
“Good morning dad,” said his little boy pup with excitement. “Guess what dad we’re going to go hunting for wild elephants.”
“Wild elephants!” The father said with a laugh. “Do not you think you’re starting out a little large? I do not know if we can fit one in our den.”
“That’s okay. We want to hunt something that will not run too fast,” said the girl fox.
“Yeah, then we can hunt for a fast deer when we get bigger like you,” said the boy fox.
“Just remember you have a lot of growing up to do. In the mean time you do your hunting close by and do not go passed the old brown fence. He said firmly.
“We will not, dad. We will stay real close to home.”
“Okay then, we’ll see you back for lunch,” said the father fox.
“Bye, kids said the mama fox.
“We’ll bring back a big surprise for you,” said the eager little hunters.
The surprise that was about to be bought back home that day was much bigger than any elephant.
The two playful pups were filled with imagination and wonder at their new world. There were rodents to chase and tall grass to hide in, but no elephants or deer to be seen anywhere.
“Let’s pretend we are hunting for elephants,” said the sister fox.
“Okay. Let’s hide over here and be real quiet until we see one,” said the boy fox.
“I heard something,” whispered the little girl fox.
“I did not hear anything.”
“Shh. Listen. I heard it again,” said the little girl fox even quieter.
“I see it! It’s a rabbit!” Said the boy fox as he jumped out of the grass
“Let’s get him!” Screamed the little girl fox.
The pups were thrilled with excitation chasing the little rabbit. He would try to hide in the bushes and they would chase him out. He would bounce and hop all over the field. They were having so much fun they did not even notice how far they were from their den.
“I do not hear the kids anymore … Do you think they are alright?” Said the concerned mama fox.
“Do not worry. They will be back with a big appetite for lunch in a few minutes, said the papa fox.
As the pups were hunting for their prize rabbit to show off, the rabbit slipped through the old brown fence to the other side.
“There he goes! He went through the fence!” Said the little girl fox totally out of breath.
“Let’s go get him,” said the boy fox also breathing hard.
“We can not. Remember what mom and dad said. We can not go past the old brown fence,” scolded the sister fox.
“But, he’ll get away, and along he’s too tired to run much longer,” the frustrated boy fox said. “Come on. We can catch him and then we’ll bring him back on this side.”
The two fox cups slippers through the fence and continued their hot pursuit. What they did not realize is in a matter of minutes that they would be the hunted not the hunters.
Two men and their hound dogs were coming around the corner of the old dirt road into the valley. They were fox hunters.
“Do you think we’ll get any today, Rob?” Asked one of the hunters.
“You bet. The whole prairie is jumping with this nice weather. Just keep looking,” said Rob.
“Look there! What do you see? Said the hunter pointing to the two fox pups in the field.
“Get ready to let the dogs loose I’m pulling over.” Rob said as he brought the truck to a sudden stop.
“The experienced hunting dogs picked up the scent of the foxes right away. They were already howling before they got out of the truck. The dogs jumped out and ran in the direction of the two young pups.
“What’s that noise?” Said the boy fox as he looked in direction of the hunting dogs and the two men with rifles.
“I do not know, but let’s run back home. I’m scared,” said the girl fox.
The two foxes ran through the fence and straight to their den.
“What’s the matter kids?” Said the papa fox who could tell this was not a game and could hear the dogs in the distance. “What are you running from?”
“Men with big dogs are chasing us,” the two fox pups said in a very loud voice.
For the first time they saw fear cover the face of their brave father.
“Did you go past the brown fence?” Formally demanding their father.
“Yes, we were chasing ….”
“I told you not to go past that fence,” said the papa fox with a helpless anger in his voice.
The fox family could hear the hounds getting closer. The father believed God loved his family. Now he needed God’s help to save and protect their lives.
“Pray with me,” commanded the papa fox. “Dear God, please help my family. Please tell me what I can do to save them.”
Just then he looked up and glanced at the mama and his two pups. He knew what he had to do. “Stay here and do not move. Do you all understand me?” Said the father fox with so much power in his voice they all began to cry.
The papa fox jumped out and stood outside his den. As the hunting dogs got closer they went wild when they saw the big red fox.
“There he is! Yelled the hunter.” “He’s a big one too.”
“Get him boys!” Said Rob and the chase was on.
The great fox ran like he never ran before. He leaped across boulders and through bushes. He scratched up his legs as he climbed up steep rocks. He went through the stream to lose his scent. He could hear the hound dogs screaming in pain as they tried to keep up with him. He knew he had to go a little further to keep his family safe from the hunters. As the strong fox moved through an open area a sound like thunder blasted into his front paw. The papa fox was knocked to the ground.
“I got him!” Shouted the hunter.
“That will slow him down,” Rob said in relief. “All we have to do now is follow the blood.”
The father fox was severely hurt, but he knew that God had answered his prayer. He found a place to sit and wait for his enemies. “Thank you God for saving my family,” prayed the great red fox. The very tired hunting team came closer and saw the large wounded fox waiting for them. Rob stared at the fox amazed at how he did not seem to even flinch at the angry hound dogs.
“That was the best chase ever,” Rob said as he aimed the rifle at the dying fox. “It’s too bad you could not out fox me though,” he pulled the trigger and the great red fox went down.
The End …. sort of ..
Something happened on the way home that day that has never happened to a fox hunting team. Something that can not be explained to this day. Something that would make this fox hunt their last hunt ever.
The hunting team picked up the lifeless body of the great red fox. They thread the body into the back of their pick up truck as they always did with their kills. They got the dogs into the truck and started the long trip home.
“This one I think I’m going to stuff and mount on the wall in my den,” said the proud hunter.
“Yeah, he’s a beauty. Probably will not get one like that again.”
Then all of a sudden, the fox hunting dogs began to howl and bark like they were on a fox chase. But there was no fox.
“What’s the matter boys?” Rob said trying to keep his eyes on the road.
“Why are they doing that?
“I have no idea. They’ve never done that before.”
The dogs were out of control and pacing the back of the truck. They were squeezing and jumping around like they were going to jump out of the truck.
“Oh, my gosh what’s going on? I’m going to pull over to see what’s wrong.”
The hunting team dropped over to the side of the road. The two hunters got out of the truck.
The dogs were still howling. The dogs jumped out of the truck but they did not run anywhere. They just ran in circles around the truck. “What’s the matter boys? You act like you saw a ghost.”
“Oh my God where’s the fox!” The other hunter shouted as he looked in the back of the truck.
“What did you say?”
“The fox, he’s gone!”
“That’s not possible. He had two bullets in him. Rob looked in the back of the truck. There was a bloodstain, but no body.
“Did he jump out somehow?” Said the other hunter.
“I do not know. The dogs would be after him if he jumped out.” Rob took off his hat and scratched his head in complete confusion. “I think we were out foxed somehow.”