Friday, November 22, 2013

The mighty mongoose and its brush with extinction

Dwarf mongoose Korkeasaari zoo
By Miika Silfverberg (MiikaS) from Vantaa, Finland (Flickr
Because I felt I didn't have enough brushes, this little guy's life hung in the balance. In my search to refresh my well worn collection of synthetic mongoose brushes (Monarch) (Princeton 6600).  It occurred to me that if I liked the synthetics so much, maybe the real thing would be even better. Natural, organic, traditional, like the old masters used in their ateliers, probably made in an ancient European workshop by a one of the last few craftspeople who know how to roll the hairs precisely into the ferrule. I looked them up and was surprised that they weren't much more expensive than synthetics, now losing their appeal. After all, synthetic just a fancy name for plastic–-artificial, factory made, so practical.

But then a thought burrowed into my conscience like a mongoose chasing a cobra. "How do you think they get the mongoose hair from the mongoose into your precious brushes?" So I did what anyone would do, I googled it. And found they were endangered, cruelly dispatched, and more in need of their fur than I was.

So, little mongoose, run free
it's synthetic mongoose for me,
Chase the cobra and the weasel,
I don't need the guilt when I stand at my easel.


  1. He is so cute!
    I didn't know there even were such a thing as mongoose brushes!
    I will never touch one!

  2. The synthetics, however, are awesome.


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