Monthly Archives: November 2011

Buried Alive

I’ve been reading through Uncle Ruprecht’s remarkable journals, which I found in the catacombs in his “Behavior Taxidermy” crate. That crate mysteriously appeared on Saturday, though how it got here I do not know. I assume his valet, Pash, a squirrelly fellow with two glass eyes, brought it here in a conveyance only known to Pash.

When I came upstairs to make myself tea, I discovered Bubo snacking on vole rinds and watching this gem:

Yes! It’s I Bury The Living from 1958.

I think I’d rather be in the catacombs with my head lamp, with or without Pash, to be honest.

Nothing against the film, naturally. It’s just that vole rinds smell something rancid.

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Pogswallow Gourds

One cannot stuff a pumpkin with homemade stuffing if there is a slimy pogswallow living in said pumpkin. Julia Child never mentioned this.

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The Odd Forest

Oh, my dears. It’s been a long week. And it is Friday night. The sky is dark, the moon is traveling past the stars, and much of the world is readying for bed. Curl up and listen to the tales I weave, until your eyes grow heavy and you slip into slumber, ready for the Dream Maker.

Have you ever been in a park, or walking in the woods, or poking in an overgrown garden and found yourself – just for a moment – befuddled by your surroundings? Perhaps the air took on a chill, or the vegetation looked momentarily askew. You were there. You were in The Odd Forest.

The Odd Forest is always just around the corner, and were you to spend more than a moment there, you’d see just what makes it so odd. Trees grow backwards – their tops are underground and their roots reach high into the sky. Rocks scuttle in the wind like tumbleweed and leaves are heavier than slate. Creeks run uphill and brooks don’t babble – they scream.

And in the center of it all, skips the Creepy Bunny.

CB, as she’s known to the other inhabitants of The Odd Forest, lives in a warren beneath a weeping willow (that grows upside-down and backward, naturally). CB loves to run her paws through the weeping willow’s tendrils, murmuring to herself “So pretty. So pretty.” Even in the darkest hours, CB skips unafraid through the caves and meadows, often trailing a wooden stake behind her. She’s not out hunting for vampires, though. Whenever she takes a rest, she thrusts the stake into the ground and leans against it casually. Even for The Odd Forest, our Creepy Bunny is weird.

When the Dagger-Hoofed Deer lopped the tails off of the Cycling Chipmunks as a prank, CB followed behind, gathering their tails. She sewed them into a glorious coat and wore the coat proudly every Thursday.

When the Half-Blind Badger mistakenly poured mercury into the water hole, CB made extraordinarily strong cocktails from the poisoned water and sipped them from high on Wayfarer’s Rock until nobody knew whether she was drunk from whiskey or mad from mercury.

She writes poems on thin strips of bark and hangs them from the roots of trees, makes fetching hats from moss and tends to over-emphasize the wrong syllable in three syllable words.

Even when the Twice Reanimated Vulture hunts after midnight, CB will fearlessly pull late wanderers into her warren, saving them from certain death, seemingly oblivious to her own possible peril.

She is a big-hearted bunny, and odder than The Odd Forest is large. (And it is very very large. Too large for any map, though unaccountably impossible to find.) Yes, she is creepy. Yes, she moves like a stuttering robot and, yes, she does murmur questionable things while standing a hair too close, but remember, we are visitors in The Odd Forest. We must seem terribly creepy to CB. And still she’ll let us lean upon her stake anytime. And she’ll always offer up a cocktail.

Sleep tight, my pets. Dream deep.

 

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Hagiolatry

It is All Soul’s Day. Cousin Silas, being a fan of rituals of all kinds, woke early this morning and wandered The Green-Wood Cemetery to commune amongst the gravestones and observe what the Roman Rite liturgy calls The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed. As usual, Silas will celebrate with a culinary fete; I believe he will be making a stuffed pumpkin tonight. Last night he made pears stuffed with brie and pistachios for Dia de los Muertos. I can not keep up with all his rituals, but I will gladly eat the food.

This, of course, brings me to today’s word.

Hagiolatry (pronounced hag-ee-OL-uh-tree) is, simply, the worship of saints. (It can also mean To treat someone with undue reverence.)

It stems from the Greek hagio- holy plus -latry worship.

According to Catholicism, each day has a saint (or saints) associated with it. The faithful celebrate the lives of these saints each and every day. Silas keeps tiny totems of each of the saints in his home – he does not travel beyond his nest with them. Not a Catholic, Silas also keeps totems of Hindu gods, Buddha, and Islamic walis. Clearly he couldn’t travel with all of his totems, it would weigh him down too much in flight.

Luckily, Silas travels with all his recipes tucked away in his brain. Not one for hagiolatry myself, I am rather interested in gastrolatry.

Whatever your beliefs are, today, go find something delicious and appreciate it.

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