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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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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More About Black Dogs

Sorting Them Out: There are black dogs, and then there are black dogs. There are many different breeds of black dog, and you can’t really lump them all in together. So let’s get this sorted out a bit, shall we?

The one we named Black Dog here at the Double Helix Preserve – the perro negro - is common to the Americas. Although a wild creature, he is a guide to lost people and kind to children. Cross him, however, and you’ll learn quickly enough that he knows how to use his teeth.

Other black dogs that have shown a tendency to be kind include the aralez, the black dog of Armenia, who has revived fallen warriors by licking their wounds, and the asena, a she-wolf of Turkey who raised a human child as her own.

The black dog most common to the British Isles is the ce sith. Wilder and less friendly than perro negro, folklore has it that the ce sith is a harbinger of death. However, ce siths have also been known to show kindness to lost people, much like perro negro.

The black dog of Belgium, the kludde, is notable because it has blue flames around its head. It is yet more fierce than the ce sith, but has been known to light the way for the lost with its flame.

On the fiercer end of the scale, one finds beasts such as the crocotta of India and Ethiopia, the fenrir of Scandinavia, and the amarok of the Inuit. All of these are to be avoided if possible. But although some of these Imaginaries hunt and kill just about anything – including humans – to make a meal out of them, to our knowledge none of these Imaginaries have been known to attack without good cause or provocation.

Beyond the black dog, there are innumerable other canine species amongst the Imaginaries. The huli jing, the kumiho, and the salavan resemble foxes; the cerberus and the orlhus are many-headed dogs; and the penghon is a dog-shaped tree spirit. And of course there are the hybrids, such as the fierce shunka warakin of the Americas, a black dog/hyena hybrid. I could go on and on, and perhaps one day I shall, but for now, I only wish to talk about black dog.

It is never a good idea to assume that an Imaginary is friendly, but it is also not necessary to assume that they mean you harm. A healthy respect should be enough to keep you safe when dealing with most of the black dogs in this world.

With so many subspecies of black dog in the world of the Imaginaries, it’s easy to understand why people would get them mixed up! - NONNY, Iranigami sympathizer


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.