Monthly Archives: June 2012


Oh but it has been threatening to rain all day, hasn’t it?

There was an odd scratching in the back corner of the garden and when I went to investigate – admittedly with a too-early gin and tonic in hand – I discovered a tiny hole in the ground, a pyramid of pink feathers next to it, and the distinct impression that there were eyes watching me.

When I turned to go back into the house, I heard footsteps behind me. Whatever is in the garden will out itself in due course, no doubt, after an appropriate period of skulking about.

Skulk is a word you’re undoubtedly aware of. It is an intransitive verb meaning to move about stealthily; to lie in hiding as out of cowardice; to lurk and it is a noun meaning a congregation of foxes or thieves; one who lurks or practices evasion.

The word originates from the Middle English, and from that it is of Scandinavian origin, similar to the Norwegian word skulka – to lie in wait, lurk. The British use skulk as a synonym for malingersomeone who shirks their duty or work and most people use skulk in a negative manner. A skulker is usually up to no good.

At first thought, a skulk of foxes might call to mind fluffy, lovely creatures who are cunning but also rather witty (I’m thinking of The Fantastic Mr. Fox). But when one thinks of things from the point of view of 13th century English speakers, a skulk was a passel of vermin; thieves lurking about the hen houses to steal eggs and ruin hard farm labor.

Whatever is skulking in my garden, I can be certain it’s not a congregation of thieves – foxy or otherwise. Nothing is ever that simple here.

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In the Laboratory

Never cross-breed a donkey (Equus Asinus) with a miniature Peryton.

The result is a creature with a bad temper and poor reasoning skills.

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This Is Not My House


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Random Poetry is the Best Poetry

I enjoy correspondence. While I am not always a gracious host and tend to prefer beakers and cryptids to humans, I do enjoy a letter or short note. I recently received this from a fellow I’ve never met in person. Spyder, if you’re out there, thank you. You made my day, sir.

Well, hello
Where have you been?  I have been looking for you all these 63 years.
I thought I found you once in Rod Serling’s  voice.  Then, in Jack Skellington’s eyelash. 
But you were elusive.
I even wrote a short story about you once.  Although I didn’t know it at the time.
Anyway, thanks for being.
As another cousin once said:  “I’ll be back.”
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