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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Tracking Imaginaries

Tricky Tracks: Reading the story told in the tracks of an Imaginary, animal, or person is not always as easy as it sounds. Many creatures don’t want to be tracked, and find ways to disguise their progress.

The most obvious way that a creature can muddle its tracks is to walk backwards, so that anyone trying to follow it will go the wrong way.

Some animals can do this without effort. The non-Imaginary kinkajou, a mammal that lives in the trees of Central and South America, can turn its feet backwards to get a better grip on the branches. Also, the Imaginary ape-like sisimito from Belize has backward-facing toes, which would confuse anybody trying to follow it.

Most animals can walk backwards, but don’t do so as a means of deception. One Imaginary who does is the sigbin, a very smelly fox-like carnivore from the Phillipines that intentionally walks backwards to trick its enemies.

Historically, a number of humanoids were believed to have backward-facing feet – the curupira and caipora of Brazil, the abarimon of the Himalayas, and the antipodes of Libia. However, they all have feet that face forward. The curupira, the caipora, the abarion, and the antipodes are just not that fond of other people, and walking backwards to create confusion helps to keep them undetected.

The churel, a ghost-woman from India and Pakistan, actually does have backwards-facing feet, but does not leave foot prints at all, due to her ghostly nature.

Besides backward-facing foot prints, there are differently-footed creatures. One such creature is the toteroad shagumaw, an Imaginary living in the woodlands of Minnesota and Manitoba. The shagumaw has front feet similar to that of a moose, and the hind feet of a bear. It is also a biped, and walks alternately on its hind feet, then on its front feet, switching off when it gets tired. As a result, anyone tracking the shagumow finds a path of bear prints that end abruptly, to be replaced by moose prints, and so on. It took the first lumbermen in shagumow territory years to figure this out. - FAUX, Senior Field Agent, Iranigami (Canada)


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.