There was a summer when I was getting reports from my campers that they were hearing screaming in the middle of the night, in the woods surrounding our campground.
And not just any scream! It was a high, ear-splitting, make-your-hair-stand-up scream. The kind that had you waking up out of deep sleep to sit up in your bed, heart racing. Or, to jump up from your campfire and lock yourself in your camper.
Before anyone realized exactly what was making the sound, there were campers who called our late hours office line in a panic. Two others called 911. Why did this do this?
Because it sounded like a young girl or a baby.
Once I heard it too, I knew what it was. But I still had a hard time convincing my campers.
It was a fox kit!
Yes, this cute little face was screaming in a way that made people lock themselves inside and peer out their camper windows fearfully!
I had a hard time convincing my campers that’s what they were hearing . . . until I caught it on the trail camera.
The video above was captured in the fall, after all the campers had left, it never really came into the campground itself. After the first of November, we didn’t hear him calling anymore.
I used this call in Mystery of the Missing Fox! It was a fun scene to write!
A couple years later when I was presenting about this little fox who screamed all summer long, a biologist told me it was calling for family, trying to connect. It suddenly made sense, because this kit was one of eight born that year, and one by one all the kits disappeared. I was never sure if it was from a predator or they wandered away, or were sick. But this kit might have been lonely, after being part of such a large family, much like the one below.
So what do YOU think the fox was trying to say all summer long? Write a little story about it!