Communist Squirrels Scandalized My Basset Hound

…and she is not easily scandalized

The Doclopedia #503

The Potawango Island Bestiary, Part One: Flower Headed Land Jellyfish

From the notebook of Dr. Thaddeus Silkmelon:

This island is full to overflowing with rare and beautiful creatures, but today we were privileged to view one of the rarest and most beautiful. The Flower Headed Land Jellyfish is rarely seen even by the natives, since it usually stays in the forests of the interior. Measuring from 3 to 6 feet across and 6 to 10 inches thick, this creature floats along a few dozen feet above the ground with its long string like tentacles hanging below it. The “head” does indeed look like a huge flower made up of translucent petals with an opalescent sheen. In general, it eats flying insects, but will also devour any small bird or bat that is unlucky enough to get caught in those tentacles. It is said that the creatures poison will paralyze a small bird in seconds.

At first, the one we saw was merely floating with the breeze, but as the wind picked up, it altered it’s course by using the petals as sails until it was running across the wind and then into the forest. My, what a wonderful creature!

The Doclopedia #504

The Potawango Island Bestiary, Part One: Variegated Marching Roses

From the notebook of Dr. Thaddeus Silkmelon:

Potawango Island is a place where the line between plant and animal is often blurred and this morning, we observed a sterling example of that. It was just after breakfast and I was taking a post meal stroll with Abner, Miss Abigail, Pagoona and Percy. We had just crested a small rise when we saw the most beautiful group of rosebushes lit up by the morning sun. They were of the variegated type of rose, in this case bright yellow flowers were streaked with crimson. Abner had just begun to explain that these were a floribunda variety when the lot of them began to move. As you might expect, this stopped all conversation.

Below us, 36 rosebushes slowly marched by in 6 rows of 6. The movement was in perfect cadence and they seemed to be heading towards a small pond in the distance. I asked Pagoona about them and he said that he had only heard of them in legend. As the story goes, groups of these roses will march to good soil or a water source, then stay there for a day or two. After that, they are on the march again. Sometimes, or so the legend goes, great numbers of them will gather together and march past one another for days. Nobody is sure why this happens.

And to think that our day has barely begun!

The Doclopedia #505

The Potawango Island Bestiary, Part One: Butterfly Winged Skunk

From the notebook of Dr. Thaddeus Silkmelon:

Our activities for the day have been brought to an abrupt and odoriferous halt. As I write this, most of our party are nude and covered in a paste made of various plant extracts that Pagoona has kindly provided. Our clothing is being burned.

We encountered a skunk.

But not just any skunk, oh no, for this one can fly about using large butterfly type wings.

We were just returning to our base camp from an afternoon of collecting insect specimens, when we noticed what we at first took to be a huge butterfly near the kitchen area used by Mrs. Hardapple. The wings were huge, easily 4 feet from top to bottom and half that in width. The coloring was not unlike that of a Tiger Swallowtail, vivid yellow with black veining. I was beside myself with joy and had the others start circling around it with the mist net we had brought for collecting bird specimens.

We were just about to throw the net when, fortunately for our food stores, the “butterfly” moved quickly to a small bush some 20 feet away. It was not until we were all rushing it that I noticed that the body of the creature was that of a skunk, not any species of butterfly. Alas, it was too late, we were upon the poor beast and it did what all skunks do when threatened.

I do not know in which direction it fled, because I was too busy choking and gagging. I do know that Colonel Orpington possesses an unparalleled knowledge of curse words and Miss Abigail is not far behind on that count. Fortunately for us, Mrs. Hardapple, Pagoona, most of the natives, Percy and Fanny were spared the skunking. As for the rest of us, I can only hope that our foul perfumage does not frighten off the animals we came here to see.

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