Also known as Fox Tuesday or a tale of several tails.
A few weeks back, I requested that my pals from around the Net enlighten me with a few of their ghostly tales. I received one from my foxy friend in Canada this morning. A tale of an Arctic Fox. Here it is unedited (except for a typo or two) and I've added a few scammed photos.
When I was around 8-9 years old, my father worked for an oil company way up near the North Pole and, while there, he made friends with the native Inuit population. One day, a man named Levi gave my father the snowy white fur hide of an Arctic fox, a fresh kill from a recent hunt, as a present.
Upon my father’s return home for a short visit, he gave me the sensuously thick fur hide, which was complete from nose to tail, including the paws. I stared at its dried and wrinkled face, touched the ears and whiskers, imagining what it might’ve looked like when it was alive and roaming the Arctic tundra. I was sad that it was killed for sport (just to obtain the fur), of course, but I nonetheless accepted it as a gift from a loving father. My mom tacked the hide up on my wall, right at the foot of my bed, so I could look up at it every night as I fell asleep. In retrospect, that might not have been a great idea.
A few days later, I awoke from an unsettling dream about the fox hunting me down in a vicious snowstorm, and at the foot of my bed, lying across my legs with its vacant eye sockets staring right at me, was the fur hide. Somehow, it had come lose from the wall and fell on top of me in this perfect position. Weird, right? Well, this story gets even weirder.
Over the next few weeks, I kept waking up from nightmares about the fox chasing me across a barren northern landscape only to find the fur hide lying on top of my bed, its head always facing me. My mom would tack it back up, using stronger and stronger nails, until its paws were decimated with Swiss cheese-like holes.
Finally, after a couple months of this, I decided that I needed to make peace with the soul of this once majestic creature and thank it for its sacrifice – something I doubt Levi did when he was ripping the fur off its still-warm carcass as a trophy. I was only nine at the time, but I had an intuitive, dare I say psychic-empathic, understanding of these kinds of metaphysical and theosophical situations, and so I just knew what had to be done in order to release the fox’s soul from what was left of its body.
I laid the fur hide out on the floor and performed a little ceremony, the details of which I won’t get into, as it was a very personal and private thing between me and the fox’s angry, vengeful spirit. Once it was over, I slept with the fox hide beside me for a few more days, just to make sure its soul had finally crossed over into the netherworld.
Hooray! No more bad dreams. So, I tacked the hide back up on my wall where it stayed for another twenty-five years, without incident.
Nice story. I wrote at length about the Japanese Fox, 狐 kitsune a while back but the beginning of that post got all political so ignore that and just read past the picture that looks like this:
I'll end with a repost of some kitsune masks that are both regal and creepy.
Several years ago, I travelled to Mt. Zao with a friend and we went to a Mink-farm that also had a few caged foxes. It was an incredibly depressing sight to see these really fat old foxes hobbling around. There were rabbits within the same cages that were not frightened of them at all.
I'm going to bed before I depress myself further...