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Beyond the Veil: Supernatural Theories Behind Boulder’s Missing Fox


pic Lenny Lensworth Frieling

Our Boulder yard has had foxes. We think there were three families displaced by recent significant commercial development at a major intersection in the East County. For a month or so we had foxes in the neighborhood. From kits playing in the road, looking like dogs playing with a tennis ball to the fox in the birdbath. We’ve had them as guests for while. They disappeared almost overnight. We have different thoughts about the disappearance and nothing more than guesses remain.

Except for the dead fox carcass.  The carcass in the far corner of our yard was left to rot, leaving a fox skull after a couple of years. We did not bury it, but treated it with respect. Then last night I heard what I was pretty sure were coyotes. It sound like three to five of them were howling over a kill perhaps. They were close, perhaps no further than 100 yards 91 meters away, South of us where there is a water retention pond and residential areas.  It lasted perhaps 4-5 minutes. I believe I heard coyotes howling and not foxes yipping. I’ve heard both.

Synchronicity or Supernatural? This HUGE coyote surprised me shortly after sunrise. I’d been playing with manual focus on my camera getting ready to take picture of diamonds when this gem appeared. I had time to grab the camera but not time or attention on the camera to change to auto-focus  It is the largest one Debi or I have seen.


HUGE Coyote Appeared This Morning!                                pic Lenny Lensworth Frieling

So far, nothing weird. THEN the weird! Debi looked at the carcass about six months ago. Remains after a year or so included hair and the rest of what you’d expect. Bones and hair. Until sometime between then and this morning. I came downstairs at about 1:30 AM to the smell of burning hair. I started by checking the vacuum cleaner rotating brush. I was surprised to find that there was no burning hair odor. Debi could not smell it, and she’s a certified firefighter with a good nose.

The day before Debi saw nothing. No carcass, no hair, no bones, no indentation, NOTHING! I have no explanation. The back gate is stuck closed. My experience is that carcasses in the wild are stripped to the skeleton by natural forces from bugs to scavengers to weather. The bones are left. The skull is left. NOTHING was left. Forensic Foxicology reveals nothing.    I researched supernatural beliefs relating to foxes. I sensed no danger, no threat, and nothing directed at me. I have no explanation for the disappearance. Here’s what I learned about foxes and the supernatural. What stands out to me are the common elements, the common themes which would have fascinated Joseph Campbell. Clever foxes turning into beautiful women. Tricksters. And more.

There is a significant association between foxes and the supernatural in various cultures around the world. These associations vary greatly from one culture to another, often depicting foxes as creatures with magical powers or as spiritual entities. Here are a few examples:

1. **Japanese Folklore (Kitsune):** In Japanese folklore, the fox, or ‘kitsune’, is a particularly significant figure. Kitsune are believed to possess high intelligence, long life, and magical powers. A prevalent attribute is their ability to shape-shift into human form. Kitsune are often depicted as tricksters, with motives that can vary from benign to malevolent. Some stories portray them as guardians, friends, lovers, or wives. The concept of the kitsune is deeply intertwined with that of Inari, the Shinto deity of rice, fertility, and prosperity, with foxes serving as Inari’s messengers and servants.

2. **Chinese Mythology (Huli Jing):** In Chinese mythology, the fox spirit or ‘huli jing’ can be either good or evil. Like the Japanese kitsune, huli jing are thought to have the power to transform into beautiful women, and they often serve as subjects of stories involving love and deception. The folklore surrounding huli jing is complex, with these beings sometimes seeking to become human by absorbing human essence.

3. **European Folklore:** In European folklore, foxes are often depicted as cunning and clever creatures, sometimes with magical abilities. The Reynard stories, a series of medieval European folk tales, feature Reynard the Fox as a trickster figure who uses his wit to outsmart other animals and humans. Although less overtly magical than their Asian counterparts, these stories imbue the fox with a supernatural cleverness that allows it to navigate the world in unique ways.

4. **Native American Mythology:** Various Native American tribes have their own stories involving foxes, often attributing to them the roles of tricksters, teachers, or guides. The specific attributes and roles of foxes can vary widely among different tribes. In some cultures, foxes are seen as wise and noble creatures, while in others, they embody trickery and deceit.

5. **Scandinavian Folklore:** The fox appears in Scandinavian folklore as well, sometimes associated with the northern lights. According to some Sami myths, the aurora borealis is created by the fox as it runs across the Arctic, throwing snow up into the sky with its tail.

These cultural narratives highlight the multifaceted nature of the fox in the supernatural realm, reflecting a wide array of beliefs and traditions that span across the globe. The common thread in many of these stories is the recognition of the fox as a being of significant spiritual or mystical importance, often endowed with exceptional intelligence, supernatural abilities, or both.

Bone theft? Animals? Transformation? I am certain that I have no idea. I am certain that whatever the explanation it seems pretty weird!

brown fox in close up photography

Lenny Lensworth Frieling

Shared Knowledge is Power!

Leonard Frieling Pen Of Justice Legal Blogger
  • Senior Counsel Emeritus to the Boulder Law firm Dolan + Zimmerman LLP : (720)-610-0951
  • Former Judge
  • Photographer of the Year, AboutBoulder 2023
  • First Chair and Originator of the Colorado Bar Association’s Cannabis Law Committee, a National first.
  • Previous Chair, Boulder Criminal Defense Bar (8 years)
  • Twice chair Executive Counsel, Colorado Bar Association Criminal Law Section
  • NORML Distinguished Counsel Circle
  • Life Member, NORML Legal Committee
  • Life Member, Colorado Criminal Defense Bar
  • Board Member Emeritus, Colorado NORML
  • Chair, Colorado NORML, 7 years including during the successful effort to legalize recreational pot in Colorado
  • Media work, including episodes of Fox’s Power of Attorney, well in excess of many hundreds media interviews, appearances, articles, and podcasts, including co-hosting Time For Hemp for two years.
  • Board member, Author, and Editor for Criminal Law Articles for the Colorado Lawyer, primary publication of the Colorado Bar Assoc. 7 Years, in addition to having 2 Colorado Lawyer cover photos, and numerous articles for the Colorado Lawyer monthly publication.
  • LEAP Speaker, multi-published author, University lectures Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, Denver University Law School, Univ. of New Mexico, Las Vegas NM, and many other schools at all levels.
  • http://www.Lfrieling.com
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