Kitsun E. Coyote (SUPER GENIUS!)

8 x 16, mixed media


I’m just gonna throw this out—red foxes are freaky.

You can scour the internet and find many many images of them being adorable, but the one time I met one in the wild and we stared at each other for a few minutes, it was not cute, it was not cuddly, and only a lunatic would try to scratch it behind the ears.

It was unexpectedly tall and incredibly thin. Its fur was not sleek, but stuck out in gouts and rags. It was shockingly orange. And it had the most alien eyes I have ever seen in a mammal. They were practically reptilian.

It was a beautiful animal, but it was not a pretty one. I could see why they filled the same mythological niche as fairies—as something arbitrary and dangerous and not necessarily well-inclined. But I sure as hell didn’t want to hug it. Actually, I took a step back and was suddenly glad of the sliding glass door between us. (And I love animals with the grim holding-them-while-they-flail-and-claw-and-pee-on-you love common to vet’s offices.)

So I set out to do a painting about how damn wicked foxes look, and I was almost there and Kevin came up behind me and said “Wile E. Coyote…SUPER GENIUS!”


Prints available, as always, original going to FC.


6 thoughts on “Kitsun E. Coyote (SUPER GENIUS!)

  1. Tami says:

    Sometimes I feel that way about birds.

    Most of the time, they’re cute and I adore black-capped chickadees and marvel at owls, but every once in a while I’ll stop and actually watch the way birds move and it occurs to me that they’re alien thing, herky and jerky and rusted clockwork, and their little black eyes are pools of nothing.

    And then one of the goldfinches will shriek his murderous battlecry at another finch who got too close to HIS spot on the sock and they’re adorable again, but that brush of cold alien-ness is hard to shrug once its been felt.

  2. Hawk says:

    Animals are alien, all of them. Most of the time it’s what enchants me about them.

    But yeah, sometimes…like watching sparrows eating a chicken wing and fighting over the meat. Sorta creepy.

    As for foxes – well, I’ve never gotten close enough for eye-contact like that, but I used to watch one that would scout our backyard occasionally, looking for whatever it could get (usually hoping for squirrels or bluejays).

    And once, my dad petted the thing, because he was on the back porch smoking, saw a furry thing on the ground, and thought it was our tom-cat. Imagine his surprise (and the fox’s!) when Mom turned on the porch light!! :D

  3. Don Hilliard says:

    @Hawk: At least it wasn’t a skunk…

    And I’ve always liked Terry Pratchett’s line that too much knowledge of ornithology tends to spoil one’s walk in the woods, knowing that what you’re hearing is things like “Piss off, this is MY bush!” and “Aargh! The nest robber!” and “Hey baby, have sex with me, I can make my chest big and red!”

    (Paraphrased because I’m too lazy to look up the quote from Monstrous Regiment.)

  4. Godel Fishbreath says:

    It looked more fox than coyote to me, so the title was confusing.

    And why saint fox?
    Or saint coyote?

    But it looks like a playing card for its lengthxwidth, bringing to mind a 52 set of cards. The ace of foxes anyone?

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