A Day in the Life – or – How to clean a sooty fox

Remember what Kimo said to Shuna in Searcher and the Sword? “To be a four-legged is to think no more of dropping one’s life than a bird thinks of dropping a feather.”

The spirit of a white fox said that to me, not too long ago. His snowy pelt adorned a quiver of arrows and made me cry. But he comforted me. So I took the fox quiver home and gave him a place of honor above the fireplace. Unfortunately, flue problems sent some soot up and the fox, I noticed the other day, was no longer snowy.

How do you clean a sooty fox? Well, with all the leather and feathers and beads attached to him, I couldn’t throw him in the washing machine, that was certain. We asked around at various places that might know, including the place where I bought him, and heard everything from “it’s impossible,” to “baking soda,” to “try a taxidermist.” Finally someone from the place I got the fox called and said, “Woolite.”

“No kidding?”

“Yep. Wash it a strand at a time like you were dyeing your hair, then air dry.”


So, outside in the sunshine with Angel prowling in the ivy, I’m washing a freakin’ fox, strand by strand, with Woolite. There’s a bowl of suds and a bowl of rinse water and about four thousand wet paper towels all over the picnic table. Angel is wisely stearing clear.

Just another average day at the Pinis.

But guess what? It works! OWOOOOO!