Walking Rocks?

Query: When I was in Death Valley earlier this year, I saw some enormous 750-pound rocks that appear to travel across the desert on their own. I remembered your article about rock tortoises, and wondered if that’s what these rocks could be?

Corn of Plenty (Part 4 of 4): A Field Guide by Dr. Midas Welby

Corns of the Air: Air-corns utilize their horns for jousting, playing tic-tac-toe, and spearing food in mid-flight. Air-corns often lurk undetected in trees, wood piles, and rain gutters. When bored, they use their horns to ring the doorbells of unsuspecting humans. When the door begins to open, the air-corn flies away.


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Going On Hiatus

December 6, 2014: I am loving college, but I have to admit, I’m overwhelmed.

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Pine Cone Feeders

A Present For Imaginaries: When winter comes, I get concerned about providing extra shelter from the elements for Imaginaries. Recently, I read about people who build wildlife brush shelters out of branches and plants in their yards, and thought this was a great idea.

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World Turtle?

Query: My parents and I were flying back from Mumbai to Los Angeles two weeks ago. I sat across the aisle from a businessman in a gray suit. Halfway through the flight, he opened his briefcase. I saw he had a turtle in there, with duct tape over the holes for the head, legs, and tail. I felt really bad for the turtle, so I got my dad and we went to the back of the plane and told the flight attendant.

I’d never seen a shell on a turtle like that one, it had stripes of blue and pink around the edges, and thought it could be an Imaginary, perhaps even Kurma, the world-turtle. I wonder now if I should have contacted Iranigami first. Did I do the right thing? Or should I have waited?

Answer: You did exactly the right thing. It is always right to report animal abuse whenever you see it.

We followed up with our federal friends at LAX on this situation. The man you reported to the flight attendant was apprehended upon entering the country, and is now facing charges. The good news is that the turtle survived its ordeal, and has now been placed into the care of a reptile rescue organization.

The marvelous colors on the shell of this turtle were not natural, but painted on, which represents an additional abuse of this creature. The only way to accurately identify a turtle as an Imaginary is by examining its scat, not its shell. Imaginary turtle scat has flecks of sky-blue, gold, or silver in it. This turtle’s scat is normal, and he is not an Imaginary.

But even if this turtle were Kurma himself, reporting animal cruelty to the appropriate authorities takes precedence over trying to keep the identity of an Imaginary secret. Imaginary or non-Imaginary, thank you for protecting this turtle from a terrible fate by your quick thinking.


Copyright © 2012, 2013, 2014 by Penelope Stowell. All rights reserved. This website is a work of fiction and does not depict any actual persons, creatures, places or events.