It sounds like a parable: A fox that crosses a river in the depths of winter, but never makes it to the other side. In Germany, one fox fell into freezing water and became perfectly preserved in a block of ice—creating a beautiful and terrible accidental sculpture.
Many of us know little about what happens to the teeming nature all around us. But Franz Stehle, a hunter in Baden-Württemberg in southwest Germany, has found frozen deer and wild boar in the petrified waters, Bild reports. He came across the fox (Fuchs in German) in December 2016 in the Danube, and cut it out of the ice in order to dispose of it. First, though, he photographed it. The result is both mournful, but also incredible:
The fox block recalls works by British artist Damien Hirst, who in the 1990s created controversial artworks by suspending sharks, sheep, and other animals in tanks of formaldehyde:
Hirst called his 1991 shark piece The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living:
We have come up with more than one name for Stehle’s 2017 fox, including Winter In My Heart Always Somewhere, The Impossibility Of Understanding The Other Side, and, as German newspaper Bild put it, A Warning To Us All.