Fox Quotes, Sayings, Proverbs

The fox is associated with cunning and mischief more than any other animal dating back to ancient times. This article takes a look at some of the best and most notable fox quotes, sayings, and proverbs that capture the spirit of this clever animal.

Best fox quotes and sayings

This is a compilation of inspirational quotes by famous people and great minds such as Shakespeare, Dorothy Parker, Benjamin Franklin, and more.

1. Fox quotes about life

If you want to play the lion’s share in life, you must wear fox skin.
Oscar Wilde

The early bird gets the worm, and the early fox gets the bird.
Matshona Dhliwayo

For a good life: Work like a dog. Eat like a horse. Think like a fox. And play like a rabbit.
George Allen

One must be a fox to recognize traps and a lion to frighten wolves.
Niccolò Machiavelli

In a society where every man is fox-minded, you need to be foxier than the fox!
Mehmet Murat ildan

The world may be divided into people that read, people that write, people that think, and fox-hunters.
William Shenstone

Everything is made out of magic, leaves and trees, flowers and birds, badgers and foxes and squirrels and people. So it must be all around us. In this garden — in all the places.
Frances Hodgson Burnett

In mythic systems from other parts of the world, the fox may guide a young person from one phase of life to another.
Martin Wallen

fox quotes

2. Short fox quotes

With foxes, we must play the fox.
Thomas Fuller

Many foxes grow gray, but few grow good.
Benjamin Franklin

A fox is subtlety itself.
Aristophanes

The too-clever fox finally caught.
Leigh Bardugo

The fox condemns the trap, not himself.
William Blake

Foxes don’t get as many lives as cats.
Souichirou Morizumi

A fox can be smarter than a wolf.
Tamuna Tsertsvadze

If you deal with a fox, think of his tricks.
Jean De La Fontaine

The sleeping fox catches no poultry.
Benjamin Franklin

Never trust a fox.
Erin Hunter

3. Funny fox sayings

A fox is a wolf who sends flowers.
Ruth Brown

A fox should not be on the jury at a goose’s trial.
Thomas Fuller

You gotta get up early in the morning to catch a fox and stay up late at night to get a mink.
Mae West

The English country-gentleman galloping after a fox — the unspeakable in full pursuit of the uneatable.
Oscar Wilde

An election is coming: Universal peace is declared and the foxes have a sincere interest in prolonging the lives of the poultry.
George Eliot

Let’s be perfectly clear, shall we. The fox is not a little orange puppy dog with doe eyes and a waggly tail. It’s a disease-ridden wolf with the morals of a psychopath and the teeth of a great white shark.
Jeremy Clarkson

Thomas Fuller quote

4. Inspirational fox quotes

The wise fox

If crow speaks to the fox, he speaks to him from the top of the tree.
Charles de Leusse

“Men have forgotten this truth,” said the fox. “But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.”
Antoine de Saint-Exupery

The Fox knowes much, but more he that catcheth him.
George Herbert

The cunning fox

The fox is very cunning, but he is more cunning who catches the fox.
Pedro Calderon de la Barca

The fox barks not, when he would steal the lamb.
William Shakespeare

To make women learned and foxes tame has the same effect — to make them more cunning.
King James I

Fox attitude

Shake paws, count your claws, You steal mine, I’ll borrow yours. Watch my whiskers, check both ears. Robber foxes have no fears.
Brian Jacques

He is like the fox, who effaces his tracks in the sand with his tail.
Niels Henrik Abel

5. Fox quotes about other animals

Fox in the hen house

Never let a friendly fox into your hen-house. One day he’s going to get hungry.
Sidney Sheldon

Anybody depending on somebody else’s gods is depending on a fox not to eat chickens.
Zora Neale Hurston

What a hungry fox constantly dreams of is a chicken!
Mehmet Murat ildan

But when the fox hath once got in his nose, he’ll soon find means to make the body follow.
William Shakespeare

Fox and wolf

A prince must imitate the fox and the lion, for the lion cannot protect himself from traps, and the fox cannot defend himself from wolves. One must therefore be a fox to recognize traps, and a lion to frighten wolves.
Niccolò Machiavelli

Wolves and foxes tend not to get along. Not just in fables and stories.
Jeff Davis

Fox and lion

The fox provides for himself, but God provides for the lion.
William Blake

I am sometimes a fox and sometimes a lion. The whole secret of government lies in knowing when to be the one or the other.
Napoleon Bonaparte

The prince must be a lion, but he must also know how to play the fox.
Niccolò Machiavelli

Where the lion’s skin will not reach, you must patch it out with the fox’s.
Plutarch

This is to think, that men are so foolish, that they take care to avoid what mischiefs may be done them by pole-cats, or foxes; but are content, nay, think it safety, to be devoured by lions.
John Locke

Fox and hedgehog

The fox has many tricks. The hedgehog has but one. But that is the best of all.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.
Archilochus

Steps for a good life by George Allen

6. Famous fox quotes

To you I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, “The Little Prince”

Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.
The Bible

Supposition all our lives shall be stuck full of eyes; For treason is but trusted like the fox, Who, ne’er so tame, so cherished and locked up, Will have a wild trick of his ancestors.
William Shakespeare

Fox and the grapes moral

A hungry Fox saw some fine bunches of Grapes hanging from a vine that was trained along a high trellis, and did his best to reach them by jumping as high as he could into the air. But it was all in vain, for they were just out of reach: so he gave up trying, and walked away with an air of dignity and unconcern, remarking, “I thought those Grapes were ripe, but I see now they are quite sour.”
Aesop’s Fables, “The Fox and the Grapes”

I’m one of the little foxes that spoil the grapes.
J. D. Salinger

The Fox, when he cannot reach the grapes, says they are not ripe.
George Herbert

The fox of the foxes. A true fox calls immature not only the grapes it cannot reach but also the one it has reached and taken away from others.
Friedrich Nietzsche

Bewildered is the fox who lives to find that grapes beyond reach can be really sour.
Dorothy Parker

Have you laughed at the tale of the fox and the grapes? I don’t, never. Because no wisdom appeared wiser than this, which teaches us to heal any desire by despising it.
Luigi Pirandello

From books and literature

And just like a midsummer nights breeze, she ran away, into the moonlight, a fox, proud and strong. The lone wolf walked away, saddened she was gone.
Jason Winchester

He thought about how it might be to be, say, a fox confronted with an angry sheep. A sheep moreover, that could afford to employ wolves.
Terry Pratchett

She devoured stories with rapacious greed, ranks of black marks on white, sorting themselves into mountains and trees, stars, moons and suns, dragons, dwarfs, and forests containing wolves, foxes and the dark.
A.S. Byatt

A fox looked at his shadow at sunrise and said, I will have a camel for lunch today. And all morning he went about looking for camels. But at noon he saw his shadow again-and he said, A mouse will do.
Khalil Gibran

Down the violet wind slid syrinx melodies, wild as foxes, mad as love, strange as wakening.
Cecilia Dart Thornton

By famous authors

like the fox I run with the hunted and if I’m not the happiest man on earth I’m surely the luckiest man alive.
Charles Bukowski

We communicate like the burrows of foxes, in silence and darkness, under ground. We are undermined by faith and love.
Henry David Thoreau

If thou wert the lion, the fox would
beguile thee; if thou wert the lamb, the fox would
eat three: if thou wert the fox, the lion would
suspect thee.
William Shakespeare

Once upon a time there were three little foxes
Who didn’t wear stockings, and they didn’t wear sockses,
But they all had handkerchiefs to blow their noses,
And they kept their handkerchiefs in cardboard boxes.
A. A. Milne

Women and foxes, being weak, are distinguished by superior tact.
Ambrose Bierce

To One who wandered by a lonely sea, and sought in vain for any place of rest:
‘Foxes have holes, and every bird its nest. I, only I, must wander wearily,
And bruise my feet, and drink wine salt with tears.’
Oscar Wilde

From poetry

Children picking up our bones
Will never know that these were once
As quick as foxes on the hill.
Wallace Stevens

Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.
Wendell Berry

A fox may steal your hens, sir,
If lawyer’s hand is fee’d sir,
He steals your whole estate.
John Gay

Sand dunes fill up all our towns.
Foxes howl and the creepers prowl around.
The peeling wet bricks of London town
foxes howl and the way men cower.
Edwin Thomas Congreave

The fox changes his fur quote

7. Fox proverbs

Proverbs are short, wise quotes that convey a general truth about a subject. Here are some famous fox proverbs from around the world.

The fox changes his fur but not his habits.
Unknown proverb

He who has to do with foxes must look after his hen-roost.
German proverb

It is a dim-witted goose that listens to the fox preach.
French proverb

You will catch the fox with cunning, and the wolf with courage.
Albanian proverb

At last the foxes all meet at the furrier’s.
Italian proverb

An old fox understands the trap.
Unknown proverb

Even old foxes are caught in the snare.
Italian proverb

A foolish fox is caught by one leg, but a wise one by all four.
Serbian proverb

The fox never found a better messenger than himself.
Irish Proverb

Old foxes want no tutors.
Latin proverb

Let every fox take care of his own tail.
Italian proverb

He who wants to catch foxes must hunt with geese.
Danish proverb

When a fox preaches, take care of your geese.
Unknown proverb

In the end, all foxes meet at the furrier’s.
Indian proverb

What the lion cannot manage to do the fox can.
German proverb

So you tell me there are wolves on the mountain, and foxes in the valley.
Spanish proverb

The advice of foxes is dangerous for chickens.
Spanish proverb

Relatives are the worst friends, said the fox as the dogs took after him.
Danish proverb

There are more foxes than there are holes for.
Scottish proverb

Old foxes are not easily caught.
American proverb


Thank you for reading these inspirational fox quotes, sayings, and proverbs. You may also enjoy these animal quote pages:

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