No Time For Teddy Bears!

…time is money and we can’t afford to frolic!

The Doclopedia # 492

The Potawango Island Bestiary, Part One: Man Eating Oysters

From the notebook of Dr. Thaddeus Silkmelon:

Today, while walking near the windward shore with Miss Abigail Saltgrass and Mr. Abner Porkwaffle, we spied a large number of oysters in a small shallow lagoon. They were of a large size, easily as big as a dinner plate. Their shell color was odd, being rather pale yellow and they seemed to have some growth protruding from their shells on either side. Quite odd, but soon to get much odder.

Abner had just joked about the amount of chowder one might get from a single one of them when two of the brutes leaped from the water and attacked him! One clamped it’s shell on his left calf and the other had him by the left hand. The growths we had spied on either of their shells were revealed to be long thin cords that were deeply rooted in the sand. Using them, they were trying to pull poor Abner, who was quite distressed by the situation, into the water.

In short order, two more had attacked him, one on his right arm and the other on his right ankle. Fortunately, Miss Saltgrass had retrieved from her handbag a large knife and commenced cutting on the anchoring cord of one of the oysters while I held onto Abner so as to keep them from pulling him into the sea. As the first cord was cut through, the oyster emitted a loud honking sound and all of them let go and were quickly back where we had first seen them.

Abner’s injuries were mostly of a bad bruising nature, but his nerves were quite frazzled for some hours once we returned to camp. This was not made better by our Native friend, Pagoona, telling us that we were lucky to have escaped. Apparently, these particular oysters are carnivorous and will eat any creature that strays too near their bed. Once pulled under the water, the creature drowns and the oysters release a chemical that quickly causes the body, including the bones, to liquify, thus allowing them to consume the nutrients via filter feeding. Quite marvelous, really, though I did not say that in front of Abner.

The Doclopedia # 493

The Potawango Island Bestiary, Part One: Waltzing Pheasants

From the notebook of Dr. Thaddeus Silkmelon:

I was returning from my morning walk with Percy, my trusty bull terrier, when we saw a most astounding sight. This was in a small clearing in that bit of woods that the natives call “Nevanto” and we have christened “The Forest of Flowers. We had stopped so Percy could smell a tree and I noticed about two dozen pheasants of a type I had never seen before. They were smaller than the Chinese Ringneck, with lovely metallic green and blue feather scattered among a background of brownish red feathers. Their tail feathers were short and carried in a fan style like a turkey. Hens were of a duller shade than males, but had bright yellow legs and feet where the males had dark brown.

As I watched, the males and females paired off and then the males all began a rhythmic bass thrumming sound. Within moments, the females began a more soprano thrumming and I realized that together, the pheasant couples were thrumming out a waltz beat. As taken aback as I was by this amazing event, I was nearly bowled over when the pairs began to waltz about in a circular formation. This went on for about five minutes, after which, the thrumming stopped and each pair of birds flew off together into the underbrush on the far side of the clearing.

Truly a wonderful sight to see, especially since any one of those pheasants was a far better dancer than I.


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