Is the story of the fox and the fleas true?

   Probably you have heard the story of the fox who had thousands of fleas in his fur. The fleas bit him, and he scratched himself till he grew weary. At last he went to the river bank, picked up a good-sized stick, and holding the stick in his mouth, walked into the water. The fleas all up crawled onto his back to keep dry. The fox went on into deeper water. and the fleas crowded onto his head. He ducked lower and lower, forcing the fleas to scramble down along his nose and finally out onto the stick he held in his teeth. Suddenly, the fox opened his jaws. Away went  the stick with his tormentors aboard, and now he had a rest from scratching until a new crop of the pests made their home in his fur.
   This sounds like a fairy tale, but naturalists say that some foxes have really learned to get rid of fleas in exactly this way.