Friday, April 13, 2012
THE DESERT FOX MAMA - A GREAT SPIRIT
I was planning to talk to you about Tel Arad, about the excavations at this ancient historical place, about the Canaanites and Israelites, about the first temple period, about the Hellenistic buildings - BUT you see the fox lady stole my story!
When we arrived before everyone else at the location, early this morning, she was already there. We invaded her territory, her secret domain, her hiding place, her privacy! Walking into the ruins we startled her - suddenly she was in front of us, backing up and scuffing angrily. She would not budge, she would stay put. She ran off and returned, her eyes fierce, her gaze steadily on our movements, stealing away in one direction for flickering moments.
We had not only invaded her territory, we had disturbed her mothering instincts and duties. Because, as soon as we spotted her swollen tits we knew that she was trying to protect her offspring from us. She disappeared behind the crumbled walls and the rubble only to emerge again some small distance away.
She was lean and strong, and proud, can you see? Her watchful eyes searched for danger. No one else was there, only we and she. That witty mother fox, trying to threaten us away with her hoarse barking and huffing! This untamed creature was facing us very bravely. From her behavior we could guess where her small ones were tucked away, but we did not hear a sound from them. Them? We are just assuming. Maybe it was only one?
This is the dvir, דביר the Holy of Holiness in the temple, and under that wooden deck, protecting visitors from underground structures, was her nursery, HER sanctuary.
She tried to get near to it, again and again - but some fear nevertheless prevented her from completing the task.
We decided to restore her peace. We left the fortress quietly, and moved on to the lower part of the ancient city. She jumped up onto a higher wall and followed us with an observing stare, then she vanished into the fallen rocks.
Please zoom in...
Photographs by Uri Eshkar.