The fox is a cunning animal, full of deceit. When he is hungry and has no food, he goes to a sunny place where he lies on his back with his feet in the air and his eyes staring up, and pretends to be dead. When birds, seeing him like that, fly down to feed on his corpse, the fox siezes them and devours them with pleasure. The fox, it is said, is a figure for the devil, who when he wants to ensnare men deceives them if they are careless.

The fox in the van der Borcht copperplate engraving below has lured several birds within reach; some of them are already pecking at his body.

  |   View in context

The fox in the woodcut below (from the Rome, 1577 edition) is very crudely drawn, but certainly appears dead.


Properties of the Fox