Elyse Friedman

Is Chance The Real Mother Of Invention?

This 59-second video of wild foxes stumbling onto someone’s backyard trampoline says a lot to me about how humans likely developed and progressed.


Samron, “Foxes Jumping On My Trampoline” (2008)

Two animals, in what appears to be a pre-mating play-fight, have jumped onto a trampoline. This bit of happenstance leads to an unforeseen result: intense springiness.

Notice how one of the foxes, I’ll call it Fox 2, is immediately intrigued and distracted by this new and unexpected feeling. “What the hell,” Fox 2 seems to be thinking, as he separates from Fox 1 in order to explore the bouncy surface. He jumps up and down repeatedly, testing it out, feeling it. Fox 1 (who clearly has no imagination) doesn’t give a damn, and tries to resume the mating ritual, but Fox 2 is no longer into it. They separate.

Fox 1 goes to one side of the trampoline and sits—facing in, waiting patiently for Fox 2 to come around. Fox 2 wanders to the opposite side of the trampoline, facing out—he gazes into the distance, appears contemplative. I venture that this new experience has left him a changed fox. The wiring has been altered. A previously dormant part of the brain is twitching and lighting up. He turns, glances momentarily at Fox 1, then looks away and resumes examining his new discovery.

- Elyse Friedman

  • Facebook User

    At first both foxes seem interested but fox one is quickly distracted or more interested in playing. I also noticed that fox two seems to believe that the bounciness is located in one particular part of the trampoline, he returns to the upper portion of the trampoline to experiment with jumping.

  • mELI

    Man vs. Nature a disturbing imbalance

  • Shari Lapeña

    Very interesting!
    My guess is that Fox 1 is the male.

    • http://lacunacabal.blogspot.com/ Sean Dixon

      Then they’re both males, as Fox 2′s jumping genitals testify.

  • http://ryeberg.com/ Ryeberg

    “What the hell?” say the goats: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58-atNakMWw

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Elyse Friedman is the author of “Long Story Short, a Novella & Stories," and three novels, “Then Again," “Waking Beauty,” and most recently, “The Answer to Everything.” She's also written a poetry collection, “Know Your Monkey." For more Elyse Friedman, go here.