A fox in Jefferson’s hen house

Last year was the year in which the world collectively wondered, “What Does the Fox Say?”

That ridiculous Norwegian dance song ended up as the top-trending video of 2013 on YouTube.

I’ll admit — I only made it through approximately 33 seconds of the video.

So, yeah, I never did find out what the fox says.

Don’t tell me it was left unresolved.

Based on what I’ve seen in the Jefferson Police Department’s activity log the past couple of months, I can only assume the fox goes around saying stuff like, “Give me your kid’s Xbox or I’ll chew your toes off” or “Mange? What mange? I am, however, gonna need another hit of meth soon” or maybe, “Psst, wanna see what’s under this bushy tail?”

Since moving back to my hometown in late November, the fox has been a frequent visitor to the newspaper’s police blotter.

In-town sightings of a fox are seemingly pouring in to local police, who already have plenty to deal with, what with all the bats in houses, the squirrel in the chimney, the cat with the peanut butter jar stuck on its head and the trespassing mallard duck.

Say nothing of assaults, drunk drivers and real-life meth heads.

But that fox!

There he was on West Wilcox Way. Then in the 700 block of West Washington Street. Then in a yard in the 800 block of South Elm.

Where will the fox strike next?

It’s like trying to track the Zodiac Killer.

It’s quite clear we have vigilant residents, which can be a good thing, but are we a tad over-vigilant?

Personally, if I saw a fox in my yard, I’d grab my wife or my 5-year-old son and we’d have a good look.

I can’t exactly see myself yelling, “Gimme the phone, I’m callin’ the cops,” unless, of course, the fox was trying to steal our car.

But, every situation is different, I suppose.

In an attempt to better understand why a person would call the police on a fox, I gave Betty Nearhoof a ring this week.

Betty is a 79-year-old resident of West Wilcox Way and remembers me as a kid growing up at the Methodist Church.

She also reported a fox sighting at 11:48 a.m. Dec. 21.

Betty stepped out on her deck that morning and there he was, curled up next to a wood pile in her yard.

“I said to him, ‘Don’t you think you ought to go home?’ And he just tilted his head,” Betty told me.

She thought the DNR might want to relocate it to the country, hence the call to law enforcement.

Only after an officer got a little closer and clapped his gloves together did the fox decide to finish his nap somewhere else.

“He wasn’t really too concerned,” Betty said.

People, according to the Humane Society of the United States, often become “unreasonably” concerned about the presence of a fox.

Then again, its scientific name, “Vulpes vulpes,” is just a little too reminiscent of Sirhan Sirhan, the guy who shot Bobby Kennedy.

It’s common, in fact, for a fox to act brazen — meaning that the fox knows his rights, and that officer better obtain a warrant next time.

Yes, they sometimes eat kittens.

Yes, they’re sometimes rabid.

But, by and large, they’re not dangerous.

London, England — one of the world’s major cities — is actually home to thousands of urban foxes.

Sure, there are exceptions.

In 2010, a fox attacked twin babies in the upstairs bedroom of an east London home, according to the BBC.

In 2012, The Telegraph reported that a 29-year-old man was cornered in an alley by a fox until he gave up the groceries he was carrying — specifically, a loaf of garlic bread.

Rather, Google the words “deer attack” and the results are much more horrific.

“Woman gored by deer, suffers eye injury.”

“Teen saves others from deer attack using a hammer.”

“Deer attacks two men, then takes man’s cigarettes.”

That last one is totally true. It happened in Texas.

Can you imagine if we started calling the police every time one of us saw a deer?

Jefferson is gonna need a much larger police force.

And maybe a SWAT team.

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Jefferson Bee & Herald
Address: 200 N. Wilson St.
Jefferson, IA 50129

Phone:(515) 386-4161