The Gray Fox Epistles: Wild Tales by Mail

The Gray Fox Epistles, illustration by Bendix Carabetta, © 2013 (Drawn with redwood stick in India ink)

In brief:

I launched The Gray Fox Epistles, my story-via-letter project, on Imbolc (February 2nd, 2013) in honor of all the newly stirring seeds, sap and milk of the wild world. Subscribers receive one of my original tales every month, in their physical mailbox, printed, packaged and wax sealed beautifully and with scraps of woodland leaf or feather included. All stories are at least 5,000 words in length (thus far they have all be around 8,000), and previously unpublished.

They are all retellings of deep old myths and fairytales, the kinds that have passed on through centuries, through many different wild landscapes. These retellings are re-rooted in the wilds that I know-- redwood forest, tule marsh, northern coastal scrub. They are walks into the mythscapes & landscapes of the soul, and are also very tangibly and vividly rooted in the wild cycles that I am always learning here, on the edge of the central coast of California, a state named for the legendary Amazon queen Calafia and her island of wild women and gold.

It is up to you to root these tales in your own heart and place. They have paws. They leave trails. Go, take them outside with you, see where they will lead you.

You can find samples of my story writing here (for tunnels & tallow), here (mad ladies & birds), here (for bones), here (for post-civilization elk herders) and here (for a Catskin), to get a sense of what you might receive via post.

(If that is enough to tempt you, skip down to the bottom for DETAILS & LOGISTICS! Or just SIGN UP HERE )

In more detail:

 Stories are meant to be shared from hand to hand and mouth to mouth, by firelight or starlight, gifts of otherness and the unkept edges of our own hearts. They are meant to be consumed, and then walked across the prairies and the alleys of your life. Subscribe to Gray Fox Epistles, and once a month, a gray fox will trot through your living room with a beautiful letter in his teeth, hand-addressed, with a tale inside.

Imagine a woman (like the lady painted with redwood, in black ink, above!) wearing a big felted cape patched full of pockets. In each pocket is a folded-up tale. She is walking down the country road, toes in the dust, toward your town. A gray fox trots beside her, catching Jerusalem crickets and berries in his teeth. He leaves paw prints that are the stories of the wild. Together they are up to their teeth and fur in tales—tales from the mole tunnels and the woodrat lodges, tales from the alder roots and the spiderwebs, tales from the trunks of abandoned cars, tales from the fiddles and water-towers, the tents and teapots of our own hearts. Tales that are deep-rooted in the human and more-than-human worlds, passed down through the ages. They have weathered the centuries, and always come out new.

This woman and her gray fox are the spirit of the Gray Fox Epistles, a project that seeks to re-create the magic of the wandering tale-bringers of old using the newer magic of our wireless webs. Together, we can create a new form of story-sharing, a glistening web of connection facilitated by the Internet but made material and embodied in monthly letters that contain original versions of old, old tales.

Follow these links for responses and "Reviews" from current & past subscribers:

Rima Staines, at The Hermitage

Abby Palmer, at Green Slate

Drucilla Pettibone, at Petit Bones

Lynn, at Beneath the Bracken

The Oracle's Paintbrush

Details &  Logistics:
Stories will be delivered on the new moon, roughly the 11th of the month for the whole year 2013— that time of darkness when tales take on a special richness. All work is of course original, previously unpublished, and copyrighted by me. It is fresh from my inky hands. (Though ultimately typed up, all stories are wholly conceived in fountain pen ink and paper.)

Subscribers have access to a Blogger site, where reflections on the tales, as well as suggestions for upcoming retellings, can be voiced. In addition, the blog features the original version (and variations) of each month's story.

Subscriptions are $10.00/month for U.S. residents and $12.00/month for international subscribers. 

A minimum of 65 subscribers will be necessary to keep the project alive.

Forgo two lattes, or three chais, or whatever hot beverage you like to buy, per month, and receive instead a truly beautiful, hand-packaged tale-letter in the mail. Then brew up your own hot treat on the stovetop and sip while reading!

Please EMAIL me at with any questions. 

© Bendix Carabetta, 2013


  1. What a georgeous idea!! A blend of storytelling and the art of letter writing. Id be honoured to recieve such beauty rather than the usual ho humdry of bills and advertising. Nice one....

  2. I love that you get a REAL story, to hold in your hands.... the perfect balance to the fantastic world of blogs, and their people. Wonderful I idea ~ I'm off to subscribe and step into the magic!

  3. I will be ordering one in a few days time,they look wonderfull and i cannot wait to read and see it.Such an amazing idea!I live in UK so i might have to wait for a while though...

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Ooooops...didnt mean for that to happen! Was expressing excitements at subscribing. Look forward to going to mailbox and finding a tale there! Yah!

  5. What an incredible service. I'm sorry to have missed it.