I hear there's a great party just on the other side of the bottomless chasm of death and nodes about your radical ideas. Any idea how long it will take to get there?

Well, it's a quick trip as the crow flies. But since the only bridge is twenty miles off that way, it'll take a while longer as the fox runs.


Like its companion phrase "as the crow flies," "as the fox runs" is used to indicate the travel time from one place to another. Because the crow can fly over obstacles, it takes a straight-line (or as minqux points out, a great circle) path. The fox, though it runs quickly, must detour around them. These expressions are used to both give an idea of distance and indicate any contrast between a trip's theoretical length and the amount of effort it will actually require. Note that one usually assumes the traveller is more like the fox.

"As the crow flies" is rarely used anymore, and "as the fox runs" more rarely still. Other versions of this expression include "as the deer runs," "as the wolf runs," and "as the cable runs," when the discussion is about telecom access.


I am confident that I have heard this phrase, but now that I search for it I am unable to find confirmation of its existence (although there are a few occurrences of "wolf runs," none offers an etymology. If anyone can offer more information, I would appreciate it.

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