Moon Juice And Star Biscuits

…mmm, moon juice

 

365 DAYS, 365 POSTS #29

 

The Doclopedia # 1,234

The Potawango Island Bestiary, Part Two: Popping Yellow Watermelons

 

From the notebook of Dr. Thaddeus Silkmelon:

 

As I stated in my last post, we had two rather disastrous encounters with nature and the second one was with a plant. Specifically, it was with a fair sized patch of very large yellow watermelons that looked much like the ones grown by members of Pagoona’s village. These were easily three times as large and somewhat glossier looking, but we only took that as a sign of extreme ripeness.

Having just walked at a brisk pace for the last few miles so as to get clear of the many amorous moose, we were all ready for a rest and a nice juicy slice of melon. So it was that Mrs. Hardapple, Miss Abigail and Smiffy walked out into the patch to survey the melons and choose a ripe one while Pagoona, his men and I, sat under a tree to rest. Abner and Colonel Orpington were some yards away washing up in a stream and changing clothes.

I should have suspected something was up when my dog, Percy, and Mrs Hardapple’s cat, Fanny, began walking off to situate themselves behind a large fallen log. While tolerant of one another, this sudden buddying up was quite suspicious. I can only blame the heat and my aching legs for dimming my perception of animal behavior.

What happened next was spectacular, if also startling and very messy. Mrs Hardapple bent down to “thump” one of the melons and when she did so, it exploded with a loud pop. That would have been bad enough, coating our rather volatile cook with melon as it did, but it also set all the other melons to exploding. In less that a minute, the surrounding area, our gear and all of us who were near or in the patch, was covered in the pink interior and yellow rinds of watermelon. I now saw the wisdom of Percy and Fanny taking up their position.

It took us the better part of an hour to get ourselves and our equipment clean, during with great numbers of birds landed in the melon patch to eat and eventually distribute the seeds. It took the better part of two hours for Mrs Hardapple to stop cursing.

The Beautifuly Illustrated, Yet Not At All Artsy Fartsy, Story Of Mostly Purple Patty And The Gerbils That Built A House

…co-starring her good buddy Satina Spoodles

 

365 DAYS, 365 POSTS #29

The Doclopedia # 1,233

The Potawango Island Bestiary, Part Two: Yellow Crested Horny Moose

 

From the notebook of Dr. Thaddeus Silkmelon:
On today’s journey to the now not so distant mountains, we encountered two species, one animal and one vegetable, that while not dangerous, where quite annoying to certain members of our party.

It was while we were walking near a lake in a pine forest that we had our first encounter with what Miss Abigail Saltgrass christened the Yellow Crested Horny Moose. About 75% the size of a typical moose, this young fellow was of a lighter shade of brown and adorned with a shock of bright yellow hair atop his head. He was calmly eating water plants and looking at us curiously as Abner moved in closer for a photograph and Colonel Orpington went with him to observe the creature and take notes.

The first thing we all noticed was that the young bull was entering a state of sexual arousal. Naturally, we all looked around for a female moose, but we failed to see her. It was then that Mrs. Hardapple rather crudely noted that the moose was looking lustfully at Colonel Orpington. When told this, the Colonel swore rather loudly while Abner removed himself from the vicinity at great haste. Colonel Orpington also began running, with the aroused moose in hot pursuit. Unfortunately, as he was running and cursing, he had the bad fortune to fall onto his hands and knees at the edge of the lake. In a flash, the moose was upon him.

Allow me to state right here that I am sorry that the Colonel, a decorated and brave military man, had to hear the hysterical laughter of our female contingent and Smiffy. I was able to muffle my mirth as I ran with Pagoona to chase off the moose who seemed totally intent on making, as Miss Abigail later put it, “hot moose love” to the Colonel.

We were, after about a minute of hitting the moose with sticks, able to drive it off. But no sooner were we helping the now terrible embarrassed and angry Colonel up off the ground than we heard Abner running back out of the forest pursued by yet another oversexed moose. For a man of rather pudgy physique, Abner was reaching near Olympian speeds until he, too, tripped and fell. It took us somewhat longer to reach him and hhis moose was somewhat larger and more determined.

We are now camped some miles from moose territory and both Abner and the Colonel are still in very nasty moods. The rest of us are keeping quiet and not looking at them.

The Pancake Goblins And The Ice Cream Dwarves Go To War!

…it’s a really great smelling war

 

365 DAYS, 365 POSTS #22

 

The Doclopedia # 1,230

The Potawango Island Bestiary, Part Two: Gooey Wallaby

 

From the notebook of Dr. Thaddeus Silkmelon:

 

Today we continued our trek through the temperate forests and fields of this northern part of the island. The more I stroll along, the more I am reminded of the Mediterranean climate regions found in the rest of the world, especially in California. There are many large oaks here and it being springtime, wildflowers everywhere. There is also an abundance of wildlife, especially birds. Sadly, one species of wildlife was the cause of much aggravation to my dear friend, Abner Porkwaffle..

Around 10 in the morning, we saw a group of wallabys grazing in a small clearing. They looked much like any other medium sized species of wallaby, being a light brown with gray on the stomach and face. There were 18 individuals, mostly females with joeys in their pouches. They watched us, but like many creatures on this island, showed no fear.

Abner was taking photos of them, getting closer at what I considered an overly cautious speed. At some point, he must have crossed a line since they entire group began hopping rapidly toward him and, as we all noticed, oozing some sort of clear and highly pungent fluid from their bodies.

 

By the time they overtook poor Abner, they were fairly dripping this gooey substance. As he flailed about trying to drive them off (the smell gave the rest of us pause in helping him), the wallabys rubbed themselves on him, coating him in goo from head to foot. Not once did they try to bite, claw or kick him. Once he was covered and retching, the lot of them hopped off, the goo rapidly crystallizing and falling from their fur.

The goo on Abner did the same thing, but not for over an hour. Once crystallized, it had no smell and neither did Abner, I’m glad to say. However, his temper for the remainder of the day was indeed quite foul.

Human Slippers For Bunnies

…not made from real humans

 

365 DAYS, 365 POSTS #21

 

The Doclopedia # 1,229

The Potawango Island Bestiary, Part Two: Pole Dancing Lemurs

 

From the notebook of Dr. Thaddeus Silkmelon:

 

I am constantly amazed by this island. The animal and plant life are a constant source of wonder. However, even the very land itself is an incredible puzzlement. I speak, of course, of the size of Potawango Island.

The earliest known mention of the island comes from the log of a fishing boat blown off course from the southern Philippines in 1120 AD. If one sifts through the rather hyperbolic text, one finds that they estimated the island, which the captain swore had never been there before, to be 40 miles long and 20 miles across. Of course, their measurements are suspect due to all the running in panic that they did.

The next mention of the islands size comes from 1356, when the Chinese explorer Ying Ko sailed around it and pronounced it 50 miles across and almost completely circular. This, however, does not match up with any other description of the island. I will point out here that he also encountered the island almost 600 miles northeast of where the Filipinos found it. Had Ying Ko not written descriptions of both the Screaming Hyraxes and the Man-Eating Oysters, I would have discounted his report out of hand.

In 1688, the “Dona Maria”, a Spanish merchantman, was caught in a typhoon and blown far into the Pacific. After 4 days of sailing west, they came to Potawango Island and spent several days here while sailing around it. Their very accurate maps depict an island 130 miles long and anywhere from 40 to 90 miles across. They describe the interior, or rather what they could see from various beaches, as ranging from tall snow capped mountains to steaming jungles to vast swamps.

Finally, we come to the ill fated expedition of Grackle and Thubbley in 1853. A sad bit of history, that. Captain Grackle and Professor Thubbley set off with two ships and an expedition crew of 60 sailors. Two years later, Professor Thubbley and 8 sailors were rescued from a large raft just off the coast of central Chile. All of them were hopelessly insane and swore that they had been gone for over 10 years. Thubbley was in possession of excellent maps which showed an island 35 miles long by 12 miles wide. Despite having longitudes and latitudes. The ensuing rescue mission for the remaining members of the party found no island.

I recount all of the above to explain that we are now camped some 100 miles inland from the coast and north of the highlands we had visited previously, a distance that we should not have been able to travel given our charting of the island as we initially sailed around it. Indeed, we should be about 45 miles out to sea, not gazing north at high mountains that remind me of the Sierra Nevada range of California.

But enough of that, I am writing today of a new species of lemur that we encountered yesterday. These lemurs were slightly larger than the Ringtailed Lemur of Madagascar and had no rings on the tail. The creatures are colored a warm reddish brown except on their faces and abdomens, where they are a cream color. The eyes of the females are blue, while the male’s eyes are brown. In almost all ways, these lemurs behave like most other forest dwelling lemurs. I say “almost” because they have a mating ritual unlike anything I have ever seen before.

To describe it, I as you to imagine an area where several bamboo plants grow about 4 feet from one another. This species of bamboo is about the thickness of a broomstick and grows 7 to 9 feet tall. In the early afternoon, many male lemurs gather around this area to watch female lemurs dance about the poles and do complex and frankly erotic movements on them. I must say that several of us were a bit scandalized, although Miss Abigail seemed to watch with great intent, nodding every so often and taking some notes in her journal.

As the dancing progresses, the male lemurs become more and more aroused until, in a full state of erection, those possessed of the greatest, umm, equippage, grab a female and carry her off for an hour or more of very loud mating. Once all those females are taken, new ones arrive. This continues until nobody is left dancing or watching.

As I said, a quite singular event that we have dubbed “pole dancing”.

White Dogs, Pink Cats, Orange Ducks

…all living in harmony

 

365 DAYS, 365 POSTS #20

 

The Doclopedia # 1,228

The Potawango Island Bestiary, Part Two: Giant Yellow Bunnies

 

From the notebook of Dr. Thaddeus Silkmelon:

 

After our decidedly unnerving encounter with the Octocobragator, our party today decided to go in search of a much less aggressive species, the Giant Yellow Bunnies.

Native to the grasslands of the northwest portion of the island, the Giant Yellow Bunnies are peaceful and even friendly creatures about the size of a Saint Bernard dog. The yellow of their fur ranges from a very pale shade to a vivid yellow-orange and they live in groups of from 10 to 40, migrating to follow new growths of grass and flowers.

At the crack of dawn, Pagoona, Abner, Miss Abigail, Smiffy, Percy and myself set out by horse drawn cart through the Blue Hills, the Walking Forest and around Lake Bakakuni to the grasslands, a trip that took several hours. During that time, we sighted Kangaroo Apes, Belching Turkeys, Spraying Mantises and Luminous Parakeets.

Eventually, we arrived at the grasslands just before dark and began setting up our camp. About an hour later, as we were enjoying an excellent stew that Mrs Hardapple had sent with us, we spied the first few bunnies emerging from their burrows. After only a few minutes, the full group of 28 individuals was out and eating. The huge size of an animal he was used to giving chase to had Percy quite befuddled. Wisely, he chose not to attempt chasing any of the Giant Yellow Bunnies.

The huge rabbits seemed not to care that we were there and, in fact, three of the 50 pound young ones came over to give us a sniff. They allowed us to pet them and their fur was very short and soft, not unlike a stuffed animal toy.

After a bit, we were able to approach the adults and pet them. Imagine our surprise when they began to purr like enormous cats. It was quite something to hear and I must report that it was at this point that Percy could no longer contain himself and began running toward the herd while barking his most feared bark. The bunnies, however, were not only unimpressed by this show of canine bluster, two of the large males actually sprayed Percy with urine. This put an immediate stop to his aggression and caused the rest of us to spend the night either bathing him in the creek (myself) or trying to sooth his bruised ego (everyone else).

Doc Tempest: Killer Surf

…from the May, 1964 issue

 

365 DAYS, 365 POSTS #19

The Doclopedia # 1,227

The Potawango Island Bestiary, Part Two: Octocobragator

From the notebook of Dr. Thaddeus Silkmelon:

As we have come to find out via several thankfully non-lethal encounters, Potawango Island can be as deadly as it is wonderful. Today, we saw just how deadly it could be when we went looking for, and found, the Octocobragator.

As the name implies, this creature has aspects of an octopus (4 tentacles and the ability to alter it’s coloring in the blink of an eye), cobra (serpentine body and flaring hood on the neck) and alligator (very tough hide and a long snout full of razor sharp teeth).

So deadly are these great beasts that there are never more than two or three on the entire island. The frequent coastal wetlands and never venture too far from brackish water. They will eat anything they can catch, including smaller members of their species.

Our encounter took place when our guide, Pagoona, finally relented and agreed to take us to see what the natives have many times referred to as the “Devil Beast”. Accompanied by Abner, Miss Abigail and Colonel Orpington, we spent a good three hours hiking along the southern red sand beaches before we came to the edge of a large salt marsh. Fortunately, our side of it rose up into some hills, which we decided to use so as to better survey the marsh.

 

Several minutes of looking through binoculars made us aware that this marsh seemed quite low on animal life. This caused Pagoona some distress because he said that the Devil Beast was eating more than usual because it would soon bear young. He also said that during these times, the creatures would venture out of the marsh to hunt.

No sooner did he say that, than Miss Abigail remarked upon a large log that lay at the bottom of our hill at the marsh’s edge, stating that it had not been there earlier. We all looked and at that moment, the Octocobragator shed it’s disguise and came up the hill at us. The speed of this 50 foot long creature was astounding. Pagoona hurled his spear at it and gave it only a glancing blow. Colonel Orpington fired his rifle, but the beast was twisting and turning so that he only got it near the tail.

It was making a beeline for Miss Abigail and myself when Abner, who has never been a model of fearlessness, leaped upon it’s neck and began bashing at it’s eye with a rock. This caused it to thrash about a bit before it grabbed him with two tentacles and hoisted him into the air. The head, now minus a working eye, turned toward him with deadly intent.

 

Fortunately, before it could bite him, Colonel Orpington got off another shot that removed a large part of the head from the body. The beast thrashed about violently and tossed Abner several feet into a bush. He was bruised and has a few small cuts, but was otherwise unharmed.

I was about to suggest taking some samples from it when the abdomen split open and no less than two dozen small Octocobragators poured out. Thankfully, the 2 foot long creatures headed directly toward the marsh at high speed. Pagoona assured us that within a fortnight, less that 5 would still be alive due to cannibalism.

We returned to our camp somewhat shaken, so Miss Hardapple made us all a very stiff drink before dinner. Miss Abigail insisted on Abner having a rest after she tended his wounds and comforted him. Perhaps he was more badly shaken than I thought, since it is now an hour later and she is still in his tent comforting him.

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.