Artist Unknown.

“You chose me,  I am amused and a bit surprised, ”  stated the firey red fox coquettishly, “All things considered, I thought you would choose the entirely humorless, limping wolf for council in everything.”  I noticed then that I, too was a fox, nowhere near as brilliant.  My fur the copper of old pennies compared to the reds found only in poppies and fire before me, shining with iridescence.  I was afraid I had upset him, only for a moment, before he crossed the distance between us and touched his nose to my own.
“I am looking for contentment, I thought you would know that better.That is not something I would go to Ty-” I found my mouth filled with the fluff of his tail.
“Shh!  Human names are heretical.” he gracefully moved his tail in an arabesque clearing my face.
“Wait- what?  Why?”
“You believed there were only Gods for humans?  Why would an animal worship a human or pay homage to their oppressors?”  His grin, feral… subtext dripping from his words like golden syrup.  “I don’t care for humans very much right now, I abhor their present stupidity.”
“You sound like my frien-”
“Spike,”  we said at once.  The Fox, ceaseless in graceful movement danced like leaves on a breeze,”
“That is because we are of the same type.  Not everyone is a wolf, a boar, or a raven.  Some of us are foxes.  You are a fox, I am a fox, he is a fox… if you want contentment, do fox things… and the first is to go feral.”
“Feral.” He sat ramrod straight, posed brilliantly and shining, “No fox is happy in a crowd for very long, but goes wherever she pleases and stays as long or short as she likes.   A fox eventually grows away from its family, and keeps primary companionship with its mate.  She is not collared, she is not owned.  She does not take more responsibility than pleases her, but she is careful of her territory and mindful of her den.” He paused.  “A fox is you.  It is not good to be a person right now, like to a human be a fox- happily join their picnics and just as happily return home.” His eyes like emeralds in sunlight shined, “You belong to yourself, and you worry yourself only with what directly impacts your existence.”
He jumped back up onto higher ground,  if a jump can be a graceful leap of shining wonder, the fire of his pelt shimmered and blazed and dazzled the eyes.  All I could think is “Man, being a mortal is so dull.” in every sense of the word.  I was a boring, brown fox staring at the God of Foxes,  that in itself was something quite spectacular, and I was filled not with fear but curiosity and endless questions I wished to ask and have answered.
“That is actually the effect I am aiming for on our kind,  thanks for being so receptive.”
“I still have to wonder, though, why I don’t feel like I should cower in fear before you or feel something awful.”
“You have not pissed me off, I will explain contentment-  Contentment is not caring one way or the other what anyone who does not affect you thinks.”
“You affect me,”
“Clearly. But you are being intentionally obtuse.” he cleared his throat.  “Do you have food?  Do you have shelter?  Do you have a home to improve?  A skill to learn?  Someone to love? Do you have your health?”
“Well, yes-” Although his line of questioning was rapid fire, I kept up and found I could agree to all of those things.
“Then you will grow contentment. Foxes grow away from their families to be with their mates and find allies among other creatures in the wood.  Remember, do not take on more responsibility than pleases you.    Do not take too much to feed your ego or so little to feed laziness.  Be helpful to other creatures, but not so much that you are left wanting.  If a person throws a snare into your den, avoid it.  You know it is there, it will decompose.”
“But-” I interjected, knowing this experience to be exceptional.
“Humans-”  he enunciated with disgust, “Are pissing me off.  I understand that the forth dimensional existence is limits your form, but your spirit is still limitless.”As the light faded until I could see only by the light he radiated he smiled,
“Be a fox, be feral, and you won’t piss me off.   Humans. Are. Pissing. Me. Off.”


13 Responses to “Feral.”

  1. This is terrifying in some of its implications but also understandable that not all of (most, any?) of the Gods are exactly happy with humanity right now.

    Sticking to those thing and people that effect us locally makes a lot of sense though, especially with how overloaded one could become very quickly otherwise. Got to lay off eating so much news.

    Good luck in your bit of the woods.

  2. Be any animal you want, including a human animal. Just be feral. Civilization is so uncivilized.

  3. I. Love. This.

    Second thought: A feral human is a terrifying thing, and most who claim to be aren’t.

    • The question then is, what makes a feral human feral? Do they take cues from other animals such as the fox, or stick to a pattern of human feralness?

      Lots to think about here.

      • Consider that nothing has had the same impact on humanity as organizing into communities and agreeing to abide by standards of conduct within those communities. Consider a human’s ability to affect their environment and now consider that ability totally freed of constriction. Not necessarily violent, but totally unconcerned. Not merely saying that they give no fucks but honestly, truly not giving one single damn about anything beyond their own selves or possibly their chosen family. Humans are both disgusting and awesome and we usually depend on codes of conduct to even that out, or at least contain it.

      • Wouldn’t that be more an argument against being a feral human? Without concepts such as frith to bind humans to each other and moreover importantly to the Powers, aren’t we more likely to cause even greater damage on an individual scale? Granted a group of human animals working in concert can cause a great deal more damage than a human alone, they can also generally do more to heal the damage of others.

        Perhaps taking our cues from other beings is the better solution, though I would be loathe to give up something like frith. Then again other animals may well have their own versions of such a concept while still being feral.

        Oh and apologies for responding to myself, I wasn’t able to respond directly to Dagan.

      • I think you can be a feral human and still have a code of conduct for yourself. I think animals have codes of conduct. I know dogs have codes of conduct.
        Look at Eagles, They do their own thing. Few live in large groups. Most are more solitary. They keep their own space from other eagles, but take what they want below. I feel like the eagle says, “I do me, you other eagles do you…just keep your distance from my hunting ground.”
        I identify strongly with bears.
        I really like a video I watched of a bear eating with a pack of wolves. The bear came up and didn’t threaten the wolves overtly. He just walked up and started eating their food. Then one wolf attacks him and he fends it off. Another comes behind him and he fends it off. This goes on for several minutes and the bear proved that he was worthy to eat with them. They stopped testing each other and just ate.
        I dated a feral woman once. 🙂 She was wild to say the least! She truly did not care about anyone besides herself and her two children.

      • Being ‘feral’ as a fox is not violence. Foxes adapt and can be friendly for short periods or they can be entirely isolationists.

  4. Tyrienne, That is a nice thought…I think my dead chickens would disagree on foxes not being violent.

  5. This makes me smile. I recall a similar conversation a few years ago and the name contentment. To appear a fox, you could copy its form, its language, but to be a fox, you should understand its being, its etre, its meaning, be a fox with your entirety, understand its signature of being and the rest follows. There is more than one foxy question in there.

  6. Feral humans don’t buy into human games, don’t trade points in the human social system, don’t climb the ladders others are so obsessed over. Stick to the trees and the earth and the places you sleep. Stick to what makes you grow and live and flourish, not what gnaws at you and demands and siphons off your being in order to feed itself.

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