The fox is a clever beast, famously outsmarting human and animal rivals in ancient fables, recent movies and a current Top 10 song. Humanity's relationship with the fox has long been balanced between bemused tolerance and "let's shoot them for fun and raise them in cages, for fur." But there are abundant signs that the foxes have had quite enough of people, and are making coordinated global moves to take over civilization.
The United States corporate-government axis has two headquarters, one at the White House in the shuttered District of Columbia, and the other in Silicon Valley at Facebook's campus. Both locations have fallen to wild foxes.
As the weak and diseased American government falls apart, the once-pristine White House grounds have become wild and overgrown, with squirrels brazenly raiding the first lady's prized garden and a single satisfied fox burrowed within striking distance of the president himself.
In California, an entire family of sinister foxes live on the Facebook campus, their presence welcomed by the company's highly paid data spies and even praised by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Unmolested, the foxes have learned the language and habits of their human hosts. They don't need to sneak around or break their way inside one of the world's most powerful corporations, because they've been welcomed onto the property.
Across the Atlantic, rich old men have long enjoyed the Tory pastime of chasing down a small fox with a mounted calvary of trained killers and packs of specially bred hunting dogs. Now that the fox hunt has finally been banned, the U.K.'s posh prime minister wants the law "relaxed," so that his landed gentry backers can once again enjoy sitting on a horse dressed like a Nutcracker while watching a fox pulled apart by a dozen hounds.
As the wealthy British backers of fox genocide spread lies about foxes supposedly picking on the working class, the clever foxes have actually turned to harassing the rich, as they play their idiot game of golf. News photographs show foxes brazenly stealing golf balls and burying them around the sand traps, like insurgents preparing for a long campaign of terror bombings.
The domesticated dog has a rare ability to communicate with its human companions. Able to read the slightest signal, spoken or unspoken, the pet dog could easily kill off the people and take over. Only the dog's legendary loyalty prevents this particular end of human civilization.
Foxes have no such loyalty. The collective consciousness of the fox remembers the cages where they've kept before being slaughtered for their furs, and it remembers every pink-faced lord firing his rifle into the underbrush, and it remembers each plate of poisoned bait set outside the farmhouse.
Scientists have learned that the fox, unlike any other wild animal, possesses the ability to quickly learn the ways of people. There is something in the fox that allows it to almost instantly domesticate—within a few generations of the fast-breeding fox, the kits are experts in the manipulation of humans. "These results suggest that sociocognitive evolution has occurred in the experimental foxes," Harvard anthropologists wrote in a 2005 paper on the astounding cognitive leaps of this fast-evolving animal.
For a long time, the foxes seemed content to steal our chickens and outsmart old farmers. Even their war cry was unknown to our ears, which is why the pop song about the fox's supposed silence is so comforting.
[Photographs via Getty Images.]