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Finding the Fox
March 26, 2024  /  118 pages  (is this book fiction or nonfiction?)

An intimate portrait of a mysterious and misunderstood animal.

“Tjernshaugen writes in an easy-to-read style that is full of insight and understanding.  I felt like I was sitting beside him as he described fox behavior.” —Rick McIntyre, Yellowstone wolf researcher and author of The Rise of Wolf 8

If you look into the fox's amber eyes, you'll notice vertical pupils. With such feline eyes in a slender canine body, the fox is a relative of the dog and the wolf, but it hunts alone, like a cat. The fox lives close to people, both in the city and in the country, but it’s wild, shy, and secretive.

Taking long walks in the early morning, equipped with wildlife cameras—and sometimes with his dog Topsy by his side—Andreas Tjernshaugen journeys into the forest hoping to encounter the foxes living just outside his small town in Norway. He knows the telltale signs of how to find a fox den, how to identify a pawprint in the snow, and the smells that foxes leave behind. He meets a vixen he named Blackback, and he watches carefully as she and other foxes hunt, play, and live together as families.

Throughout this captivating book, Tjernshaugen investigates the fox’s place in our own cultural history—such as Reynard the Fox, the Scandinavian inspiration for Disney’s Robin Hood, and the fables of Aesop, which depict foxes as sly and cunning, a reputation that may not be fully earned, Tjernshaugen argues. What is true is “the fox is wilder than other wildlife…and largely survives in spite of our plans and regulations, like an outlaw, so I see it as a symbol of freedom and independence.”

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