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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History of Iranigami

The Down Side Of the Silk Road: As trade began to flow more freely along the trans-Asian Silk Road in the 12th century, the Imaginary-keepers of Europe shared much valuable information with the Imaginary-keepers of China and India. But the increased traffic along this important trade route also opened an unfortunate myriad of opportunities to the Bogs and Murks (poachers and smugglers) of the time, who used the Silk Road to smuggle Imaginaries and Imaginary parts from continent to continent.

From China, the Bogs brought huan-cat pelts and dried helou zhi yu meat to Europe, where they charged hefty fees to the apothecaries, who in turn sold these items to cure jaundice and shrink tumors. On the return trip, if a Bog could secure the alicorn and carbuncle of a unicorn, he could get ten times its weight in gold for it in India.

Along with animal products, the Murks plied a trade in living animals. Sarmatian sea snails were valued as pets by Chinese nobility; manman birds were highly sought after by the princes of Germany.

Now, centuries later, what was once a trickle is now a deluge. The smuggling of Imaginary animals and animal parts which first took on a global nature with the Silk Road trade in the late Middle Ages has only continued to grow in scope. Today, the international trade in endangered species and products, including Imaginaries, constitutes the third largest smuggling operation in the world. In 1973, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of World Fauna and Flora (CITES) made this trade illegal everywhere, but a lack of resources and agencies makes enforcement of these laws difficult.

The people who poach and smuggle live animals, animal eggs, and the parts of animals – teeth, hooves, horns, pelts, offal, and flesh – threaten the very existence of the Imaginaries. We have to do our part to make sure that the “up” side of the Silk Road – the beginning of the modern-day era of global communications, exchange of information, and cooperation – outweighs the “down” side – the illegal and harmful trade in Imaginaries and Imaginary parts by the Bogs and Murks of our time. - GWYNEACH, Iranigami Annalist (U.K.)


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.