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Labrador locals Allan Russell, Cliff Russell, and Mallory Harrigan have been fishing together for years. One day, when they were all out fishing at sea, they came across something odd on the top of an iceberg. They thought it was a seal but froze immediately after making out what it really was.
On this particular day, the trio got up early as usual and headed towards their fishing spot. The waters were calm and the air was clear. Nothing about this morning could have warned the fishermen about the unusual turn their day would take.
It didn’t take the crew long to reach their destination. They turned off the boat’s engine and went through their routine - dropping the crab pots to the ocean floor, waiting, lifting them back, and doing it all over again. Once all the work was done, it turned out to be their most successful day ever. The trio then decided to try their luck in deeper waters. Little did they know that a much bigger surprise was in store for them.
The deeper water was icier and more dangerous than the previous spot. As they moved forward, they could see huge icebergs floating freely around. They had to stay alert, or this trip might turn into their last. Suddenly, Allan spotted a tiny creature on the top of an enormous iceberg. What was it?
As the sun was reflecting off the icy surface, it was very difficult for them to see clearly ahead. The crew knew there was a variety of wildlife in their town like lynx, weasels, and different kinds of foxes. But they usually stayed on land. The only creature that could swim so far from the shore would be a seal. Moreover, the trio used to see seals sunbathing on the icebergs. Mallory and Cliff thought it must be a seal cub that had been stranded out on the iceberg. However, Allan was not convinced and insisted that something wasn’t quite right.
The three made their way closer to the iceberg in order to get a better look, but they were still too far away. Allan took a closer look through the binoculars and noticed it did not look like a seal at all. There was something odd about the way it moved. Mallory and Cliff inspected the animal and eventually agreed that Allan was right. It was not a seal! As a result, they decided to sail closer to the iceberg.
Though the trio knew it was risky to stray from the route, their curiosity got the best of them. When sailing in waters where there are icebergs, one must stay vigilant as you can never tell what is below the surface. The icebergs may look small above the water, but they can be much bigger under the water. The crew moved on cautiously.
As they approached the iceberg, they saw the animal had fur and was completely soaked. What was worse, the wind was picking up and the temperature was dropping. At that moment, they knew there was nothing else to do but save the poor animal, despite the fact that they still did not know what it was.
The trio made their way towards the animal slowly and carefully. The ice-filled water itself was already extremely dangerous. Worse still, as the wind was becoming stronger, the waves were getting higher. All this made it a lot more difficult to save the animal. The boat jostled around precariously, and one little mistake could cause the boat to capsize. Despite all this, they never thought of giving up, not even for a second.
Because of the strong winds and high waves, the iceberg was drifting violently further to the sea. The helpless animal grew more anxious and started pacing back and forth on the iceberg. Mallory feared that the animal would simply jump into the icy water for safety. They pulled out all the stops to catch up with the iceberg.
Eventually, they were close enough to catch a glimpse of the animal. It had four legs and fur, and it had a shape similar to a puppy. However, there was no way a dog would appear in this place. So, what was it really?
As the fishermen got closer and closer to the iceberg, they could clearly see what the animal was. It was not a seal, not a dog, but an Arctic fox! They didn’t have time to wonder how it got there, as the fox was shivering and weak. Moreover, birds had already started to hover above it. The fox might become the bird’s lunch if they did not act fast.
Immediately, the fishermen began their rescue. They tried to get close to the fox, holding out their hands and calling the animal to them. But instead of coming closer, the fox only moved away. It didn’t seem to trust the fishermen. After many failed attempts, the three had no choice but to wait and be patient.
Finally, the fox started to make its way to them. However, it was too weak to jump from the iceberg into the boat. Allan then carefully approached the animal and carried it on board. At last, the fox was safe...for the moment.
Even though the boat was safer than the iceberg, the fox was startled by the trio’s presence and jumped overboard into the water! The fishermen could only look on in horror as it swam through the icy water towards the iceberg. They did not want to give up on this poor creature and followed it until it became too tired to move.
Allan then scooped the fox out of the water and brought it back to the boat. The fox huddled in the corner, all cold and wet. Allan and Cliff got towels ready to dry it off, but they were afraid the animal would attack them. Though they had envisioned solutions to all the emergencies they could imagine, they had never expected they would encounter something like this. If the animal did bite them, what should they do?
Mallory began to steer the boat back to the shore to have the creature checked. However, they still had a long way to go. Allan and Cliff both kept an eye on the animal as they waited for the chance to dry it off. How long was it going to take before the fox began to trust them? Would it survive the ride back?
It was important for them to warm up the fox before it passed away there and then. They could not just wait doing nothing. Mallory then suggested that they make a warm nest for the wet fox. Allan and Cliff found some sawdust and placed it a plastic bin. They moved the bin in the sun and managed to put the fox inside. Would the fox escape again?
To everyone’s surprise, a few minutes later, the fox fell asleep in its makeshift bed. Meanwhile, the crew tried to race back to the shore, but it would still be half an hour before they’d reach the land. Soon afterwards the fox woke up. The weak animal desperately needed some food but refused to eat the crab or fish on board. Mallory managed to find some Vienna sausages and gave them to the fox. Luckily, the animal began to eat. This must have been the first time it had eaten in days.
Eventually, the heroic trio arrived at the shore. The fox was now warm and fed and seemed to be in good health. They had planned to take the fox to a vet, but after realizing it had recovered, they decided to set the wild animal free.
Mallory remembered there was a safe place near the docks. They carried the fox to a barren hill that had an old dog house. The animal appeared to be settling down after exploring its new surroundings. Seeing that everything was well with the fox, the trio headed home. This was a day they would never forget!
The three fishermen risked their own lives in order to save a poor little fox. They are true heroes! Faced with a similar situation, most people would probably simply turn a blind eye, but they did something so amazing! They made us believe how awesome humanity can be!
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