Wednesday, 14 September 2011

When A Fox Put On Sheep’s Wool

A red fox. Image courtesy of Bernd Blumhardt, Wikipedia.

Joel Kontinen

Approximately a hundred years ago Nature published a fascinating article about a fox that had a habit of wearing sheep’s wool. A Mr James Day told the journal that he and his father had noticed that a fox used to search for something in a hedgerow.

It turned out that the fox was collecting sheep’s wool caught in the thorny branches. When he had got enough, he backed into a small pool tail first and walked deeper into the water until only his nose and the wool attached to it were dry.

Finally the fox let go of the wool. Then he shook himself dry and went away, leaving the wool in the water.

Mr Day and his father were intrigued by what they had seen. They took a shepherd’s crook and pulled the wool out of the water.

The wool was teeming with fleas.

The fox reminds us that when God created the animals he gave them intelligence so that they could cope with unpleasant circumstances in a fallen world.


100 Years Ago. Nature 471 (7339): 454.