Tag Archives: tentacles


I have spent the bulk of today following a trail of faintly glowing residue throughout the house. I first discovered this trail in the first floor water closet; along the walls originating at the sink, this trail went over and around the oval mirror, around the outlet and it appeared out the door. The trail appeared lighter and shinier than the wallpaper (which is a truly relaxing shade of dark lavender-grey) and there is no getting around it – it looks like tentacles. This trail has taken me across the house; up the staircase to the Vivarium, across the hallway to the Laboratory, even out onto the Widow’s Walk. I lost it in the grotto and the subterranean canal, but admittedly the walls are made of rock and in the flickering lights it’s difficult to fully track.

My guess is that something lives in the canal and came out last night to explore the house. It appears my nocturnal dragons were not patrolling the house as usual and instead were having a bit of a drunken yahtzee tournament in the garden, enjoying last night’s temperate weather.

So until this creature appears again, I am at a loss as to the origins of this tentacular trail.

Tentacular is an adjective meaning of or pertaining to tentacles; resembling a tentacle or tentacles. According to the Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia this definition pertains to any aspect of a tentacle or tentacles: the nature, structure, function, or appearance of a tentacle; adapted or used as a tactile organ; tentaculiform: as, tentacular character, movements, or formation.

The word originates from the Latin tentaculum. Tentaculum, then, is a noun that means A tentacle of any kind; also, a tactile hair; a vibrissa, as one of the whiskers of a cat. Similarly, One of the stiff hairs situated about the mouth, or on the face, of many animals, and supposed to be tactile organs; a tactile hair.

Tentaculum is derived from the Classic Latin word tentare, which means to handle, feel; attempt. Tentare, in turn, is derived from the Latin word temptare which means test, try; urge.

One might say that my beard hairs function as tentaculum; they sometimes seem to have minds of their owns and Bubo swears they move independently of my skin. Oh, if only that were so! Like Medusa, but instead of serpents as hair on her head, my wee beard hairs dance and move like undersea creatures. Creatures who enjoy the crumbs of baked goods. You odd fellows know what I am talking about: a good mustache and beard brush is essential to looking your best.


Half Baked Jelly Dumplings

Perhaps you’re wondering what happened to me – it’s as though I disappeared for 70 hours or so, eh?

Wednesday evening, Bubo called me into the reading room on the west side of the house. She said she had a delightful surprise for me. You see, she’s been feeling terribly guilty that my jellyfish have all been disappearing (mostly by Bubo’s doing) and had been working all day on making restitution. Had I known her plan…but hindsight is 20/20.

I entered the reading room – which is a tiny room much like a room within a tower; there are tiny windows that let in gorgeous streaks of setting-sun light. These streaks illuminated undulating walls. Why were the walls undulating, you ask? Because they were covered in tentacles. Jellyfish-like tentacles. These tentacles grabbed me – gently, of course – and began playing with my hair, with my beard, and hugging me. They hugged me, in fact, for three days.

Bubo had turned the reading room into a jellyfish using some questionable witchcraft. As you know, I’ve been unearthing centuries of old family detritus in the catacombs, and Cousin Cate’s trunk of books was unearthed last weekend. This trunk had been sent post haste from Greenland when dear Cate was being pursued by very angry Inuits. The multitude of books was weighing her down, so she shipped them to the family home. This trunk, mind you, is about the size of a VW Bug. (The catacombs are large.)

Cate was being pursued by angry Inuits because she had been practicing witchcraft and attempting to allow narwhals to walk on land. The Inuits found this troubling and when their emissary approached Cate, she promptly turned him into a star-nose mole. This ticked the Inuits off and thus the pursuit began. The narwhals, mind you, have yet to walk.

Bubo found one of Cousin Cate’s spellbooks and, not realizing that this was not her final spellbook but in fact a draft spellbook, cooked up a rather half-baked spell. Instead of turning the reading room into a delightful aquarium with ghost-like jellyfish, she turned the room INTO a jellyfish. Luckily it appears to eat dumplings and not luminaries.

When Bubo brought me some dumplings this morning as a peace-offering, (feeling terrible that I had not been able to escape the clutches of her gift), we discovered the room’s terrific liking for them. Thank goodness, otherwise I’d be in there still.

Bubo’s attempt at a rectifying spell turned the dining room chartreuse and made the front door spongy like angel-food cake. I’ll be spending the evening trying to contact Cousin Cate to see if she can fix things.

Oh the adventures, eh, oddlings? In the meantime, I recommend keeping pets away from books of magic – half-baked or otherwise. Bubo’s contrite and has even baked me a delightful earthworm pie. She’s such a sweetheart. Besides, as long as I have dumplings in my pocket, I think the reading room will be a delightful getaway when I need a hug.

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