In many cultures throughout the world, foxes are constantly depicted as something akin to a trickster deity, or even familiar animals that possesses magical attributes. Much like with the Big Bad Wolf from various fairy tales, foxes are constantlly depicted as antagonistic forces who would use their intelligence to outsmart their prey, or to escape from harm.
However, there have been some myths surrounding this animal that have placed it in a more positive light. For example, in the Achomawi creation myth, the Fox is believed to have helped the Coyote create the world, and they both left before humanity arrived. The fox also acted as a messenger animal for Ninhursag in Mesopotamian mythology, and they were worshiped as sacred animals in ancient Peru by the Moche people.
The cunning nature of foxes in folklore, myth and fables has led to modern phrases such as "outfox" - which means to trick or outsmart someone.
Moche people depicted in various art-forms the foxes. They use to believe that the foxes are warriors which would use it's mind to fight the victims, to the point they wouldn't make any physical damage, only mentally. Inside of the 19th century American folktales created by Joel harris, Br'er Fox is the major character, which is always acting towards the main portagonist of the stories the Br'er Rabbit.
in most Western folktales foxes are both admired and hated in equal parts as tricksters, much like the fairy-folk (whom foxes and wild animals often had a connection with in folktales, being representations of the wild (and thus a source of both wonder and revulsion to "civilized" humanity of medieval times and beyond).
in Eastern folktales, especially those of Japan and Korea, foxes are more malevolent in nature and a danger to humanity. In Japanese folklore, foxes are the typical forms that spirits such as the kitsune which in some versions of the myth, kitsunes are violent predators that often seek to kill everything in their path. Some kitsunes are even known to drive their victims to total madness by "possession." This is a practice that is continued to be observed in modern times.
In Other Media
the modern image of foxes is much more positive than those of folklore but they often retain their trickster spirit, this can be seen in countless cartoons and films in which foxes are often central heroes - though some major exceptions to this rule apply, for example Brer Fox is consistantly portrayed as a villain and the Japanse kitsune are still seen as generally dangerous creatures even in anime and manga.
List of Members
- Kitsunes, hostile Japanese spirits that are considered to be foxes of considerable age.
- Brer Fox, the archenemy of Brer Rabbit and based on much earlier folklore.
- Reynard, a wicked fox from numerous European fables.