Yesterday, my daughter texted me the link to The Fox, the music video made by Ylvis. Initially, I was worried that it might be an awful video that one of my other kids was in. That’s a joke, friends. Don’t anybody run to the defriend button because I talk mean about my kids. I’m entitled, trust me. They’re great kids, I jest. You figure it out.
Anyway, so I asked. “What’s this?”
“Video from Sweden.”
Oh, I thought. That explains it. Is it a video of Swedish fish? Of Liv Ullman cradling her baby as it dies from having eaten yeast or some such thing or another one of those interminable, depressing, slit your wrists in the theatre Ingmar Bergman films? We are so apart generationally, my daughter and me, as to be orbiting different suns.
So I watched. It was a music video featuring singers/dancers in the forest asking the very appropriate question, “What sound does the fox make?” You know, the cow goes “moo” and the pig goes “oink” and that sort of thing. Every creature makes a sound but somehow the fox got left out of the audio. It was cute and true. After all, we don’t really know what sound a fox makes. Or a bear or a moose. But never mind.
Anyway millions of people think the video is hilarious. It’s all over Facebook and Twitter. So funny. I thought it was ok. Using a word of the younger generation which I so love and appreciate, I thought the video was ‘meh.’
And then today, and this is not a joke, folks, this is as true as the keyboard I’m typing on, I saw an actual real live fox standing on the grass on the side of the road that goes along our Lake Michigan shore. The fox looked as if it had been cut out of a children’s book and propped up there in the green grass. Cars whizzed by and I jammed on the brakes. I just stopped and stared at it. Holy cow, I thought. Here is a fox, a true fox here in the city.
The fox was lovely and red. Stood still watching the traffic. I wanted to get out of the car and go pet it but I was afraid of getting rear-ended by cars not aware of the fox. I pointed over the roof of my car to the fox, sure that everyone would want to slow down and appreciate the fox but the cars zoomed by and, in the rear view mirror, I saw the fox retreat into the bushes.
Certainly, the fox had meaning, appearing as it did on the very day after being made aware of the Ylvis video. A message delivered to me. What was it?
A creature reaching between the generations?
An animal wanting to make himself heard amidst the traffic?
A fox ready to dispel the myth of his silence had anyone truly stopped to listen?