I’ve been reading the old Myths and Legends of China by ETC Werner and the second-to-last chapter deals with fox legends. One of the superstitions mentioned by Werner was that foxes were believed to be able to start fires by striking the ground with their tails.
This reminded me of the old bible story about Samson and the foxes, where the so-called hero ties foxes’ tails together and sets them on fire before releasing them into the locals’ fields to burn their crops down. I can’t help but wonder if there are other cultures which have legends about fox tails and fire, and if this is inspired by the color of the tail or something else.
I glanced at Wikipedia but didn’t see anything jumping out. I did run across an interesting article on the kitsune, or fox spirit of Japan, which has lots of parallels with the Chinese legends. I’m familiar with the names from the Magic: The Gathering card game, so it’s nice to see that the card game authors did their research and seem to have got most of the surrounding legends dealing with kitsune correct.
Speaking of foxes, I still haven’t solved that annoying Firefox problem I mentioned in my last post. And wow, there’s another connection between fire and foxes! Cool.:-)