One book that stands out in my mind is Watership Down. This book showed me how rabbits were expected to be clever in order to survive. They have to trick their predators as a means of escape or evasion. This aspect of rabbits has been represented throughout the ages.
Foxes are animals who are generally represented as being clever tricksters as well. Yet, they are cast as predators. (Because they are.) They have to use sneaky trickery in order to catch their prey. We have seen this aspect of them in, of course, many of the "Aesop's Fables."
The thing I find so fascinating about the two animals is that they are essentially the same thing but from two different sides of the arena. One is always trying to outsmart the other, and the contest will only end with one of two outcomes: The rabbit escapes... or the fox eats the rabbit.
Despite the prey status of the rabbit, they are surprisingly equally matched. This actually makes me smile because it gives the struggle more of an epic feel. It seems to make the fight more personal.
A fox sees a rabbit. A rabbit sees the fox. There's going to be a moment where the two are going to have to gage their situation and act accordingly. Both sides are going to become hyper aware of their location and the objects nearby. The rabbit is smaller. He can fit into small holes. The fox can use feints and push the rabbit into a more open area. There are all sorts of tactics that can be used on both sides.
In fairy tales, Foxes are usually shown to have large egos. This likely comes from their somewhat cat-like personality. They tend to be cocky and bold in their speech. This ego can be used against them in a battle of wits.
The rabbit tends to be more humble, knowing what his limitations are. However, there have been a number of fairy tales that have shown them to be cocky too, such as with the "Tortoise and the Hare." A rabbit can just as easily fall victim to his own ego which can cause him to make mistakes.
At the end of the day, these two will always be trying to deal with one another. It's an even match, and every battle means something, even though they are all very short-lived. Fox vs, Rabbit. A fight for survival. A fight for food.
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