• Range Writing

Foxed


As I was walking past the living room window yesterday morning, I noticed that our two old burros slowly moving toward the yard. As I stopped to watch, I saw they had two pronghorn antelope fawns with them. That’s not a surprise because the mother to the fawns has been hanging out near the yard and I catch a glimpse of her fawns a couple of times a day.


As for the burros, well, they love baby animals – lambs, calves, whatever. Formerly wild burros taken out of the desert southwest nearly 30 years ago to help guard sheep, they don’t really care whether the babies or wild or domestic. That got them into trouble about a decade ago when they tried to adopt a moose calf, and we had to intervene between a mad cow moose and our loving burros who were insistent that they wanted to hang out with the moose calf.


Hoping to get a photo of the burros with the fawns, I grabbed my camera and hopped into the truck. The photo was not meant to be, as the fawns had disappeared back into the brush by the time I reached the burros. When I found the fawns, they were nearly back to their mother, but as I watched, I saw another animal between me and the fawns: a red fox. Perhaps the fox had been after the fawns, leading the fawns to seek the safety of the burros. I took a few photos of the fox and turned to walk away, but when I glanced back I was surprised to see the fox following me.


I retreated to the truck and the fox passed by, but kept turning back to see what I was doing. I got back out of the truck and followed the fox from a distance, watching as it hunted and dug around in a sandy draw. The fox noticed a small bird on the ground nearby and gave chase, but failed to connect.

The fox continued on its journey, and I headed back toward the truck. As I turned to open the door, I looked back and saw the fox having one last look at me as well before it faded away into the brush.


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