Tag Archives: creatures


Imagine my surprise this morning when I discovered that, once again, Mordecai has left mysteriously in the night.

That is sarcasm, oddlings. Mordecai is nothing if not consistent in his disappearances.

He and Charles have flown the coop and I can’t help but wonder what dastardly deed he perpetrated this time. He never leaves in the dead of night without good reason. There was the time he angered the minotaur my Uncle kept in the garden. There was the time he caused my Cousin Cate’s house to collapse into a sinkhole. So, naturally, I have not exhaled with relief, I am tiptoeing about the house wondering if it’s been lined with arcane explosives or if a poisonous strain of beetles is loose in the walls.

He did leave, perplexingly enough, a minikin mewling at the foot of the stairs. I’ve checked it’s teeth, and while they are sharp and numerous, they are also small. It is curled at my feet right now, in fact, snoring quietly as it naps in a boot.

A minikin is a small and dainty (and delicate) creature. Used as an adjective, minikin means diminutive or dainty. Some people will tell you that minikin also can mean a fine, mincing lass. Those people wouldn’t be entirely wrong.

The word comes from the Dutch minneken for darling, in turn from the Middle Dutch diminutive of minne for love. It is akin to the Old English word gemynd for mind, memory. Minneken is obsolete, and, some might argue, so is minikin.

The creature at my feet might be obsolete, but it is very real indeed. The day will be spent getting to know one another, I suppose, while Silas prepares pies for the Thanksgiving dinner we shall host tomorrow in the garden. I’m assuming this minikin will eat the food. I’m assuming it won’t become manic in the face of guests, a dinner table, or the garden. I’m assuming a lot today. I might break into that nice new bottle of Ruby Port sooner than Silas had hoped.

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The Perils of Travel

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.

In the great and vast Patagonia Desert wander the corel pipchiche – creatures of the sand. Large and benevolent creatures, they make their way through sand storms and cold winds, communing with the Tuco-Tucos and Jumping Cow Spiders who also live in the desert.

The corel pipchiche are rumored to be Ngen-rüpü, spirits of nature who are the owners of the paths created by nature and the footsteps of the wild animals.  They travel together in pairs – the larger “choele” and the tiny “chile”. They are the “ghost” and the “little bird”, beings of the desert.

Mapuche legend has it that when a traveler is ñamikuaw, the Mapuche word for walking lost, the corel pipchiche will appear to lead them back to their path, sometimes before the journeyer even realizes they are lost.  Once the traveler is back safely on their way, the corel pipchiche slowly fade back into the horizon, the call of the chile echoing off of the desert floor.  This experience stays vividly with the traveler for a full day, or one sleep. Once they have slept that one dreamless sleep, their vision of the corel pipchiche will seem like a hallucination and hardly real.

But the corel pipchiche are real, and these travelers have been indelibly marked.  The corel pipchiche do not judge those who have lost their way; they merely show them back to their footpaths and fade back into the desert sky.  The order of the desert is kept in balance by these wanderers, these owners of the paths, these spirits of nature. They know the perils of the wild world and the perils of travel. And they keep us safe in spite of ourselves.

Sleep tight, my pets. Dream deep.

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The Cellar

Something has unearthed itself from the cellar floor. This something is large, tentacled, and very energetic.

The cellar door is locked.

Whiskey is in hand.

All right, creature! Do thy bidding! (And please do not break the parlor windows. We just had those replaced.)

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Roc’d Out

When your great aunt suggests you come to Maine to help her harvest blueberries and, oh, to see if you can get that pesky roc from scaring her alpacas, do make sure to wear sturdy head gear.

I’d hate to speculate on what sort of concussion I would have nursed for the past two weeks if I hadn’t worn my pith helmet whilst night-harvesting those blueberries.

I’m fully recovered, at least, I think I am. Mordecai insists that I’ve developed a tic and merely ate some off lobster. If that’s the case, then I ask you – where did this 5-foot long white feather come from if not from the roc that attacked me?

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