Fox Christa and his companions of prey

From the Salzach Valley near Lend, a wild gorge stretches northwards. Floods, debris flows and avalanches have threatened the narrow mountain road that leads through the gorge for many, many years. Several kilometers into the valley, the gorge then gradually turns into a valley. Dark green woods stretch up the steep slopes, lovely alpine pastures alternate with rugged rocks. And above all this, the mystical Hochkönig rises with towers, ridges and sky-high walls. Closely nestled to his southern slopes, as if seeking shelter under his mighty stone head, lies the mountain farming community of Dienten.

And it was exactly there, in this remote little village, that Christa the fox and his companions in prey once did their mischief. It was in the early 18th century when two brothers grew up in the fox farm in Deant'n. The older was called Christian, the younger was called Kaspar. Already in young years they carried out such bad tricks that they were called "the wild fox boys". The young foxes did not go to school, instead they were driven out into the mountains. No piece of game was safe from them. Barefoot they climbed after the chamois in the walls of the Hochkönig, no adventure was daring enough for them. When they finally succeeded in stealing the muzzle loading stub from a sleeping hunter, their audacity knew no bounds.
From then on they did not return to their home, but lived as poachers of robbery and theft. This desert life beyond the law also pleased other men, and soon there were twelve journeymen of robbery - a sworn society under the leadership of Christian vom Fuchshof, who was only called the "Fox Christa". It did not take long, and the whole Unterpinzgau trembled before the audacious robbers. Countless game was captured by the journeymen, and in the Blühnbachtal they are said to have even killed dutiful hunters. Although a high reward was offered for the capture of the fox Christa, nobody dared to earn the prize. This even went so far that the leader of the robbers one day, in bright sunshine near the village, at the so-called "Schwefelhäusl", sat comfortably by the roadside and cleaned his rifle. He told a child to run into the village and announce who he had seen. But when the boy came running loudly screaming to Deant'n, there was no one who would have dared to go out to the Schwefelhäusl.

Once the fox Christa carried the Kraxe from Lend to Deant'n to an unsuspecting merchant, because the merchant did not dare to go down into the valley alone. He was afraid of the "Fox Christ," said the unsuspecting merchant. In an inn near the village, they finally stopped for the night, and when Christa said goodbye to the merchant, he revealed himself to him. The merchant almost fell off his chair in shock, but Christa said laughing: "You need not fear, I will take nothing from you. Just tell the people that the fox can also be good for Christa!" And so the gang went on for many years until they finally met with a terrible fate. On a gloomy late autumn day, the twelve journeymen were on their way to Blühnbach, without their captain, to poach chamois. There, where the path leads down from the Torscharte into the Blühnbach valley, an avalanche suddenly started rolling on their descent. With a loud thud, it shot down the mountain and dragged all twelve men with it into the deep. One of them survived the disaster and was able to free himself from the snow masses. Although he had broken his leg twice, he crawled back up the embrasure. But once there, his strength left him - and a little later his life. So he was found sitting under a rock ledge, a piece of bread in his hand. The robber captain Christa had lost all his friends in just one day.

On this stroke of fate he gave up his wild goings-on and moved to the Hirschegg farmer as "depositor". From the Hirscheggut he attended church services almost every day, although he had not entered a church for decades before. The shock had scarred him forever and his hair had turned snow white. But his enormous strength had not left him. Once, when Christa went home from the service, he met a Hagmoarranggler from Saalfelden in the Kesselgraben, who was known far and wide as a big braggart. He mocked the old fox Christa, but even before he had finished the last sentence, he was lying in the Kesselbach, lengthwise.
The fox Christa is said to have been 70 years old when he finally died lonely and abandoned in the tenement of the Hirscheggut. But even today, people in the valley tell stories about him and his twelve companions. Even a song about him has been written, of which only one
verse is preserved:
"Iatz is there fox Christa g'storbn and his servant -
iatz kunnt i Fuchs Christa wer'n, dos wa ma recht!"