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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Career Paths in Iranigami

Licorn Keeper: This summer, I visited Nonny at the Iranigami Preserve and met Mirage. Mirage is so amazing! Meeting her made me want to work with licorns when I grow up, the way Nonny does. I asked Nonny how I could prepare to become a licorn-keeper, and this is what she told me:

To become a licorn-keeper, we have to understand the way a licorn thinks. A licorn’s logic is different from that of a human. As a human, we are predators, and licorns are prey. Even if we approach the licorn with the thought that we just want to be friends, what a licorn KNOWS, deep down in their bones, is that humans eat licorns.

A good licorn-keeper has to figure out how to communicate with the licorn. If we want to let the licorn know that we have no intention of harm, we must let her know in a way that the licorn will understand. Since licorns are very perceptive, this means that before we even approach the licorn, we must be honorable in our hearts.

It also means that we must learn to listen to what the licorn is trying to tell us, and to honor that. This takes a lifetime of study, since licorns think differently than we do, and we must learn to read their language if we are to succeed.

Finally, we need to be prepared to offer the licorn a partnership with us, rather than approach them with the idea that the human is dominant and the licorn subservient. The licorn may accept or reject that partnership – it’s their choice. If the licorn agrees to our presence, then we must be a trustworthy leader. While the licorn may mean us no harm, their horns and hooves are very dangerous, and their reaction to any danger, real or perceived, is swift and instinctive. If we wish to be safe around a licorn, then, it is necessary to show the licorn that they are safe with us.

How do I start, I asked Nonny. You can start with a horse, she said. The people who become the best licorn-keepers are people who have grown up with horses and have learned to be with them in an honest and understanding way.

When I got home, I asked my parents if I could get a horse and keep her in the garage instead of the car, but my parents said No. I’m really disappointed. As much as I wish I could become a licorn-keeper, I’m going to have to leave that job to somebody else.

I am passing along Nonny’s advice, because maybe you have a horse, and maybe someday you think you might want to become a licorn-keeper. If you do, I hope you will let me come meet your licorn, the way Nonny let me visit Mirage. - BUG, Field Agent, Iranigami


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.