Red Fox – Bones and Spirit
© 2011 GLHoke
In May of 2010 I awoke and noticed both of my cats were staring out the sliding glass door in the direction of the little white cabin next door, which I did not then own. What attracted their attention was a red fox, not alive, but dead with its head sticking out from under the porch. I assume it was probably struck by a car while crossing the road last night and managed to craw under the porch where it eventually rested in peace. Since I knew the weather was warming I knew that it would eventually stink as the corpse deteriorated.
So I put on some leather gloves and got out the trusty purple plastic toboggan I use to haul stones and such around the property, and loaded up the carcass. I dragged it across the stream, over the bridge, and up the mountain to the eastern edge of my property where there is a live tree paired with a dead tree which has shed most of its bark which lies strewn around it. I laid down a layer of bark, then rolled the red fox’s rigor mortis body onto that, then offered “coppers” which is what I call pennies upon its chakras. I faced it south toward the sun since it is a red fox, praying that it be reborn far away from a road. I made an offering of tobacco in front of its snout. Then I covered it with more bark, and then large rocks so no scavenger would drag away its body.
I left it there all summer to return to nature, not returning to check on the progress. It laid there through summer and winter, gradually deteriorating.
In the spring of 2011 I walked back up there to check on the progress of nature’s handiwork. I pulled off the stones and bark and all that was left were the red fox’s bones, fully cleaned, and not a shred of fur. So I went back and got a colander and started gathering up the bones since they were so beautiful, and I was bored.
I went online and found JaKe’s Bones, a guy who reassembled skeletons, kind of like a bone taxidermist I guess, and downloaded the pictures from his helpful website. I spent hours trying to sort them out and put them property together on my kitchen counter. I went up two other times and found more bones on the mountainside down from where I had buried it following where the rains and snow would have carried them, and found a few more, though most were probably in the crevices of the mountain stone. The pelvis was missing and I assumed some scavenger had got at that and dragged it away for a rotten little meal.
In the meantime in the summer spring of 2011 I was also able to purchase the little white cabin next to me, and felt that was the place the skeleton should lie in display. I moved the bones to a couple layers of roof shingles and my friend Tony opened the doors while I carried it over to what now is the Hex House since it is dedicated as a place to do German Powwow, Runic magickes and other activities best left for another story. I put its skeleton on a built in blue cabinet in that old 1937 built bungalow of fir and pine under an altar of powwow gods and goddess and hex signs.
Later that summer my Dad died, and my brother and I with the supervision of my Mom cleaned out his garage. The Hoke’s Never throw out anything as we soon found out. My brother even found the original kitchen sink from the house they lived in 50 plus years stuffed up in the garage attic under a rafter. My Dad was a “river rat” as we call them here in the Appalachians, spending his time on the river hunting ducks, fishing and trapping. Over the decades he and my Mom collected a lot of driftwood off the islands. There in one cabinet was a piece of driftwood that looked exactly like a fox head, so I put that in front of the skeleton.
I also found my old childhood rock collection in a cardboard box in the back of the bottom shelf of a cabinet in the garage, and was delighted with that. I found a little quart crystal I had found 40 some years ago and placed that on the driftwood fox mask.
Now here is a funny story – I was down at my Mom’s one day still going through the garage and she pulled out a ziplock bag of Grandpa’s stuff which was full of old keys and a bone. I asked her what the bone was and she laughed and said “It is a fox penis bone”, something one does not expect out of one’s Mom’s mouth, and how strange is that with me assembling the fox skeleton months earlier? Since its pelvis was missing I had no idea of the sex of the fox, but my good neighbor who is a taxidermist said it was a big fox and probably a male. So I also took the fox penis bone and added that to Mr. Red Fox so that he is whole again.
I made offerings to the Red Fox spirit of tobacco that it rest in happiness and peace to enjoy and guard the little Hex House.
And that is the story of the Red Fox who died tragically in front of the little white cabin which became the Hex House and where He now lies displayed in all in glory and honored for his Spirit. May he Rest In Peace and happiness, and be reborn far away from roads and live another long life.
Rest In Peace in the sunset Chief Red Fox Bones and Spirit!