Tag Archives: creatures

Batten Down the Hatches

Here comes Hurricane Irene. By this morning, we in Brooklyn were already experiencing weather due to the arms of the hurricane – rain and light wind.

I spent most of the day yesterday moving things inside from the garden and porches (possible projectiles. a garden gnome is formidable when thrown by 75 mph winds) and boarding up the uppermost windows.

Then I remembered the grotto and my secret subterranean canal. A large concern with a hurricane in the mid-Atlantic coastal area is the storm surge and subsequent flooding. This would make my underground river a danger from beneath the house. So I focused my attentions on the grotto. I pulled my tiny barge in from the canal. I boarded up the entrance to the grotto as best I could, with plywood and rocks knocked loose from this Tuesday’s earthquake.

I put Mahto to work making sand bags and Beatrix helped me layer and stack them to prevent flooding. The Gruffelnut has a surprisingly keen eye for this sort of thing, and with the help of the specimens, I believe the grotto has been blockade off and we should be safe from a subterranean flood. I hope the catacombs do not flood, but we are on rather high ground here. This old house is not located in a flood zone, and with the proximity to The Green-Wood Cemetery, we’re actually near the highest point in Brooklyn.

The dragons and Bubo spent most of yesterday in the wind, watching the storm clouds approach. Poor Barkly, he seems to have gone a bit mad from stress and storm pressure. The Laboratory was a room full of bedlam yesterday, though as the storm steadily approaches, all the creatures seem to have quieted down today. Perhaps anticipation breeds silence?

We have battened down the hatches and we are awaiting the storm.

Batten Down the Hatches is a nautical phrase, originating in the late 1700s (in William Falconer’s An Universal Dictionary of the Marine). Ship’s hatches (doorways, windows) were often left open for ventilation and air flow into the lower decks of ships. When bad weather approached, these hatches were covered with tarps and other coverings, held in place with strips of wood called “battens”. Thus Batten Down the Hatches literally meant  cover the doorways and windows and secure them with the strips of wood.

And you thought you wouldn’t learn something today. For shame, oddlings, for shame.

Stay safe. Be smart. As Cousin Octavia likes to say “A hurricane is like an angry ex-lover. You know it’s going to be bad. Just prepare for the worst and then you’ll just end up wet, tired and slightly dazed.”

Oh, Cousin Octavia. I am often thankful she’s a distant cousin.

Summer Treats

It is awfully summer-like in Brooklyn. I am eating habanero ice cream and listening to the beasties low and mumble. Remarkably relaxing Tuesday, my pets.

My weekend trompsing through the woods of Boston was absolutely eye-opening. I shared fruit with a Dire Wolf. I learned that I do not like to hunt badgers, specifically utilizing “old world tactics” and I spent late evenings talking with my dear friend Josiah Whyndbotum. Josiah is always an enjoyable companion. Even in dank woods.

Mordechai is working on the jalopy. It made the trip north but we feared the worst on the way back late last night. A mid-highway break-down is one thing, but a mid-highway break-down with a vehicle full of wet-earth creatures is another. Hard to explain. Not to mention the badger pup Mordechai decided to bring back. It was a noisy trip back to Brooklyn. Charles and Bubo are rather unsettled by this new member of the family.

To be honest, I am as well. A badger baby in the basement is not what I call a good idea. And I’m the brother who tried to raise a dragon clone. So I know from bad ideas.

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Clean Mayhem

I should know better.

This old and rambling house seems to create dust and dirt faster than the earth itself. Sometimes it drives me a bit batty. And that is when I clean.

I must have been in some sort of cleaning trance, because I didn’t think twice as I roared into the laboratory with my ancient and powerful vacuum cleaner. It sounds like a jet engine, possibly because it’s made with parts from a jet engine.

I thought the laboratory was loud before, with the specimens and new monsters and beasties in there, but I was unprepared for the auditory explosion my vacuuming caused. The laboratory erupted into a cacauphony of petrified and angry shrieks, thumps, howls and other-worldly noises. I thought the vacuum had thrown a rod, so when I shut it off I nearly jumped out of my indoor-wellies. All terrified eyes were on me, and I tried to soothe the creatures but they would not be soothed.

Until I beat the vacuum with a cro-bar. That seemed to sate them. I left a record of the Kurundu Birds calling with their rainfall calls to calm the frayed nerves of my beloved creatures.

And I’ve been in the basement, repairing my damage to the vacuum cleaner. I’d like to think the creatures were worried I was being tortured by the machine, but I think they just wanted to make sure there would be no more vacuuming.

I can’t fully blame them. The sound of a hair dryer drives me positively sideways.

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Rain Dance

Yesterday’s heat has turned into rain this morning. I don’t mind, I like the rain. While in the kitchen making my morning coffee, I heard giggling mixed in with the sound of rain drops hitting the roof.

Who do you think was out in the garden, dancing like there was nothing else? Why, my lovely specimen Beatrix, of course. I think I shall join her in a precipitation tango. It’s lovely to dance in the rain.

Bubo is having a movie day, watching all sorts of old thrillers from the 1930s and 1940s. She just finished The Girl Who Dared. I prefer it when she watches those to when she watches the old creature features. Her delight with those old monster movies usually parlays into some sort of mischief.

And Bubo mischief is not to be trifled with.

Go have a dance in the rain, my dears.

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