John: of course whips out every single goddamn one of his favorite movies who are y'all kidding!! The trolls haven’t seen them, he has to enlighten them. Karkat leaves the room the second John says, “hey guys! What if we-” because he knows what’s coming and he will not be here for it no sir. For reasons beyond any and all comprehension, Terezi becomes absolutely obsessed with the Ghostbusters. Whether she likes the way they handle “ghost justice” or she just likes licking the screen when the ghostly baddies show up, even John regrets showing them to her and everyone admits that it was a grave mistake.
Jade: on her island she used to like going out into the puddles and hunting for frogs. Um. She doesn’t want to do that anymore or possibly ever again. She still likes to take a rain slicker and some boots and go for walks in the rain tho, she’ll find a nice place to sit and be alone with her thoughts. Sometimes Jake will go with her and they’ll sit and listen to the wind in the trees and the roar of the rain together, but more often than not she makes the trek alone. Once Jane realizes this, Jade always comes home to a nice cup of hot cocoa waiting for her on the counter. She warms right up before even taking a sip because this, this is what having a family is supposed to feel like. Not some taxidermic guardian staring her down.
Dave: Uses the time to work on his sick beats which have, surprisingly for everyone but him, become extremely popular with the citizens of Earth C. They don’t know what the mysterious “Obama” creature is that the Knight of Time references so often, and conspiracy theories grow by the thousands. Was he an ancient deity? A fallen ally? A worthy foe? Entire websites are dedicated to putting the pieces together. Dave will also build blanket forts with Karkat in which they watch only the worst and cheesiest of romcoms, no one else is allowed in. Except the Mayor. Cuddles may or may not ensue.
Rose: knits way too many scarves in an attempt not to think about the rain because she is 1000% Done With Rain. She has zero good memories associated with this goddamn precipitation. It reminds her of her drunken mother and of the unfinished quest that still haunts her. To keep her mind off things, she spends rainy days obsessively poring over ancient tomes, writing drafts for “Complacency of the Learned”, and more often than she would care to admit, reading Roxy’s wizard fan fiction. It’s very good and she’s extremely proud. When the power goes out and Rose can no longer see the pages, Kanaya is always there, ready to light the room with her skin and her smile.
Kanaya: shares a similar aversion to frogs as Jade, but can’t help but be fascinated by the rain because she’s never seen it before. Rain on Alternia was extremely rare, even more so for her because she lived in a desert region. It takes her a very long time to get used to thunder, and the first time she heard it her chainsaw was out in record time and she was running around trying to figure out just what the fuck was happening. Once it had been explained to her by a patient, trying her best not to break down into hysterical laughter Rose, Kanaya felt pretty embarrassed but admitted that her reaction had been funny. She loves seeing lightning in the distance, and sometimes tries to light up at the same time.
Karkat: Dave and Roxy show him earth musicals and boy howdy does he fucking love musicals. He was very skeptical at first, but after being assured of romantic content succumbs to the intense peer pressure. Dave’s favorite is Hamilton because anything that can combine rap and history (aka dead things and presidents) is truly the highest form of art. He may or may not know every word to every rap. Karkat, however, latches on to Wicked and does. Not. Let. Go. He relates immensely to the off-color mutant human who stands up for what they believe in and faces incredible odds to become the best!! And she gets a love interest in the end! Karkat argues the entire time that Elphaba and Glinda had a million times more chemistry than Fiyerwho Gives A Fuck, but still cries every time at the end because he’s so happy that Elphaba is happy. Dave often catches him humming the soundtrack and teases him mercilessly for it, but is secretly glad that he helped Karkat find something he cares so much about.
Terezi: Thanks to John, now screams “WHO YA GONNA CALL” every time a ‘crime’ is committed and Justice™ needs to be served. John accuses her of debasing a classic, to which she responds by licking his face and telling him that nobody listens to losers who taste like blueberries. Likes to catch raindrops in her mouth and LOVES the sound of thunder, sounds like sweet, sweet music to her ears. Loves “watching” (smelling) the humans trip all over when the lights go out because cmon just smell your way through it! Trolls have night vision and do not trip, which Terezi finds massively disappointing.
Jane: Cooks the entire time. Raining out? Guess we’re having more cake, everyone! She tries a new flavor combination every time, so far the favorite is lemon cake with raspberry frosting, and the least favorite was carrot cake with mint frosting. Not a good time. She also likes to try out Alternian recipes for the challenge, not to mention because the troll kids are a little sick of human food. After a few months Jane manages to produce a close approximation of grubloaf and it was the happiest cry Karkat had since the time Dave told him they should probably date or something.
Jake: watches the storm through the window, sometimes goes and sits by the ocean to watch the wind stir up the waves. Something about growing up on the island makes Jake and Jade more in tune with the weather, they can feel it deep in their bones whenever a big storm is coming. It also gives them a strange sense of melancholy. Dirk tries to comfort him but there’s something ancient in Jake’s eyes whenever the clouds roll in. Sometimes it’s best when they sit quietly, watching the storm together.
Roxy: makes her own blanket fort suck a dick, Dave!! No boys allowed!! She and Callie built it using a combination of blankets that Rose has knitted for her and generic objects used as building blocks. No Dave, that’s not cheating, maybe if you could make building blocks out of your time powers you wouldn’t feel so inferior to us and our amazing blanket fort which is better than yours. Knows every word to every musical (she had a lot of spare time before the game) and Karkat vaguely idolizes her. Teach me your ways, oh great musical goddess. Watches movies with John and they weave in their own witty commentary, she helps slowly rebuild John’s faith in his shitty, shitty movies.
Callie: has lived underground her entire life and doesn’t know what rain is? Why is water falling from the sky I don’t understand? Also, still getting used to actually being able to see the sky. Finds thunderstorms therapeutic, she likes the constant thrum of the rain, the deep boom of thunder, and the sharp crackle of lightning in the distance. Her favorite place to be is snuggled up in blankets between Roxy, Jane, and Jade, all doing various things but it doesn’t matter because they’re together.
Dirk: will sometimes sit with Jake during his Rain Moods™, other times will watch Hamilton with Dave and they rap along to the entire thing. A lot of the time it will devolve into a rap battle and everyone chooses sides, bets pass along boonbucks like it’s the goddamn horse races up in here. There’s never a real actual set of guidelines that decide who the winner is, the only judge is the Mayor and he is a righteous and fair judge, Dirk and Dave both win equal amounts and no one (mostly) goes deep into debt. Dirk also likes to go running in the rain, he’s never had so much space to just *move* before, and rain was scarce down in post-apocalyptic Texas, so it’s like killing two birds with one stone.
Sollux: The static in the air from lightning messes with his psiionics and it makes for some sicknasty hijinks. Think of a balloon when there’s enough static, every time it thunders Sollux’s hair starts standing on end and if he’s too close to a wall he gets sucked in and stuck. The Great Storm Disaster ensued one day when Sollux decided to rub his feet along the carpet and shock the next person he saw which was, unfortunately, John. It was unfortunate because John, in an attempt to up his pranksters gambit, had a buzzer on his hand. No witness can accurately describe what happened on that horrible, horrible day, only that the blast of cheap buzzing, static electricity, and wackass psiionics threw Sollux and John in opposite directions where they got stuck to the walls and couldn’t move until the storm was over. It also singed John’s eyebrows off. Dave wouldn’t let it go for months.
A couple years ago, I was in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. Note: this is the NATURAL history museum. All they have are taxidermed animals, fossils, and rocks, and this conversation took place deep within the museum:
Woman (with 12 yr old son): Excuse me, where is Sacagawea?
Employee: I don’t know, I-
Woman: Is she at this museum?
Employee: Um, no.
Woman (to her son): She should be here. I mean, she was part of American history.
Son: Yeah, she helped Lewis and Clark with the Louisiana Purchase!
On February 8th, 1878, somewhere in Montana, a circus train carrying a large number of imprisoned animals is racing a blizzard to it’s destination. While traveling at full speed along a mountain pass, Mother Elephant addresses the animals from her cage in a car of the train. She announces that the time has come for their escape, and derails the train by her sheer strength. The crash is tremendous, and the animals are free to escape if they so choose. Among the animals present is Walrus, Fox, Bear, Rabbit, Peacock, and Tiger. When the authorities descend on the scene in order to recapture the animals and restore order, Mother Elephant sacrifices herself by staying behind. Tiger also stays behind in his cage, afraid to leave because of his pessimistic view of the outside world. The other animals flee into the night.
Grist for the Malady Mill
In the aftermath of the crash, news of the destruction is spreading through the human communities and the authorities are hunting down the animals. Peacock is captured after an indecisive moment on a fence post leads to him displaying his plumage and subsequently finding himself in the net of a policeman. Rabbit flees in the direction of his home, Walrus wanders north toward the Canadian border, and Fox and Bear head toward Yellowstone National Park. Meanwhile, Mother Elephant awaits her fate in a jail cell as the ire of the townsfolk increases. She is confronted by legendary railway engineer Casey Jones, who tells her that she has failed and that her friends have likely died. Mother Elephant remains unfazed.
East Ender’s Wives
Rabbit is distracted from his journey when he meets, and begins a relationship with, a footloose fortune teller. Her debauchery and prophetic powers quickly lead Rabbit astray as he falls ever more deeply in love. The relationship comes to an abrupt end when the fortune teller runs off in the night, boarding a boat bound for Australia. Rabbit is devastated, focusing on what the relationship was for a short time rather than what it had obviously become. Before moving on with his journey, he finds a cryptic note left for him by the fortune teller warning him that “All our dad’s die.”
The circus is devastated with much of the animal acts missing. Thus they work their two remaining prisoners, Tiger and Peacock, to the bone, forcing them to perform endless shows for the con-men who run the circus and their audiences. Overcome with despair as they are put on display with oddities like the fraudulent Cardiff Giant, Tiger and Peacock attempt to regain some semblance of their self-worth in the two-person community they share among enemies. Their solution comes in a lesson in self-denial as taught to them by Potter Wasp, who sings to them from the floorboards in their trailer.
Elephant in the Dock
The day has come for Mother Elephant’s trial. The trial proves to be a sham, with a death sentence pre-determined due to the ever-growing anger of the crowds. Elephant calmly approaches the gallows without a fight, and addresses the crowd, telling them that they have no real power over her. She is hung as the crowd jeers.
Meanwhile, somewhere near the seashore, a fish has an existential crisis of perspective when he realizes that the woman on the shore named Aubergine, for whom he has been pining, is merely an eggplant.
Fox’s Dream of the Log Flume
Fox and Bear are wandering through the wilderness while having a philosophical debate about how exactly one can know God. Fox’s mind is ever changing and she is beginning to push Bear’s mind in many different directions, as he concludes simultaneously that there is no God, while also being determined that He exists. During the course of their conversation, Bear recounts an embarrassing story from his past: Romancing a young Anabaptist girl on the Asbury Park Pier in New Jersey, Bear awkwardly confesses to fantasizing about push children from the top of the log flume ride. He then attempts to propose marriage to her and is immediately rejected. This prompts Fox to recount a dream she has had the night before in which Bear jumps from the top of a log flume ride and dies on the shore while Fox and a gathering crowd looks on. Bear’s dreams are less prophetic, full of warm woolen socks. The two continue on into the wilderness, penniless and hungry.
Walrus is attempting to remove himself from society entirely, becoming something of a monk in the northern tundra. A short distance away, a hedonistic barn owl looks on. As Owl has never seen anything like Walrus before, Owl determines that he must have Walrus for himself by any means necessary, even if it means marriage. Owl approaches Walrus with the proposal, but is rebuffed by Walrus’ eremitic determination. They then trade tales of their own varied experiences that have led them to their own idea of fulfillment. Owl mentions nesting in amazing places and flying with Paiute Indians. Walrus recounts his involvement in the end of the American Civil War and the time he witnessed a human pyramid formed by acrobats that reached nine stories into the sky. Realizing that they are at something of a stalemate in this debate, Walrus warns Owl that if his life of excess ever falls short of true fulfillment, a spiritual life is available to him. Owl counters with a standing invitation for the monastic creature to abandon his ideals for the pursuit in pleasure.
The circus is failing in the wake of the animals’ desertion. Once a thriving business, the circus has become little more than a sideshow, with lame attractions failing to bring in new customers. The centerpiece of the show is now a taxidermic fraud, a monkey sewn to a fish and displayed as a Mermaid from Fiji. Faced with the possibility of bankruptcy, the carnival folk confront their own base nature, but ultimately fail to change their ways.
Bear’s Vision of St. Agnes
Fox and Bear are starving in the wilderness. Fox bemoans the fact that Bear has followed her into exile rather than seek out his former love in his newfound freedom. As they approach the edge of a cliff, Bear has a vision of St. Agnes and is inspired to tell Fox a very important lie. He claims that he recognizes this cliff, and that his twin brother recently died and was laid to rest at its base. Bear suggests that Fox make the descent to the bottom and use his “brother” as a food source, while he remains at the top and hibernates. As she obeys, Bear leaps from the cliff to his death, providing the body needed for Fox’s food. The story has come full circle, Bear’s sacrifice for a friend mirroring Mother Elephant’s. As he falls, Bear considers this act victorious, and wonders if perhaps his death will bring him back to the Asbury Pier where, for a fleeting moment, he was happy and free.
Epilogue: Other Stories
Julian the Onion
The circus has re-railed its train and continued it’s journey. Along the way, they kidnap a new attraction: a small deformed boy named Julian whose onion-shaped head makes him the star of a freak show. Mistreated and mocked by a jeering crowd, Julian warns them that they will soon face eternal judgment, before himself dying as they look on.
Rabbit has been slowly making his way home in the wake of his disastrous relationship. Between odd-jobs he performs while also evading the law, he sends a letter to his seven sisters that announces his imminent return to his family farm. Eager to once again take part in the hymns sung by his family, and greet his estranged father, Rabbit instead finds four funereal candles lit in honor of his father’s untimely demise. At first racked with despair, Rabbit seeks comfort in his mother’s arms and in the idea that his father went to his grave standing firm in the idea that love would prevail in the end. This proves to be the cure for his own mistrust of the concept of love. As his mother sings to him, Rabbit resolves to focus his love not on things fleeting, but onto his eternal Creator.
In the middle of the 17th century, John Tradescant the elder created a wunderkammer (called Tradescant’s Ark) in which he displayed, among other things, a “mermaid’s hand”. In the 19th century, P. T. Barnum displayed a taxidermal hoax called the Fiji Mermaid in his museum. Others have perpetrated similar hoaxes, which are usually papier mâché fabrications or parts of deceased creatures, usually monkeys and fish, stitched together for the appearance of a grotesque mermaid. In the wake of the 2004 tsunami, pictures of Fiji “mermaids” circulated on the Internet as supposed examples of items that had washed up amid the devastation, though they were no more real than Barnum’s exhibit.
Do you taxidermize anything? I was wondering if with a taxidermy squirrel if you cut the ankles and leave the feet in? Won't they rot? Send help!
I don’t do much taxidermy work, but I do prepare taxidermy quality hides and would advise against cutting the feet off at the ankles. Even on something as bony as a squirrel, you’re asking for insect activity and slippage if you leave that much of the carcass on the hide. It also makes tanning and keeping that part of the skin soft difficult.
To skin out the paws on any animal, you skin all the way down and sever the first phalanges from the claw. Sometimes I sever at the second if I’m having a difficult time.
Here are the two ways you can skin out paw pads. I usually use the first method on the left, the right is known as the ‘latch’ method and preferred by taxidermists due to the fact that closing up pads is a pain.
The Lumberjack Ghost of Northwest Mansion Mystery has been around for a total of 150 years.
Preston Northwest, the 150-something-year old jerk fraud
That’s a really long time- enough time to rise up to Category 10. He hasn’t been actively haunting the Mansion, but goddamn have the Northwests taken a really long time to open the gates to the general public. 150 years is more than enough time to gain enough abilities to make him very dangerous. This might also have to do with the fact that his death was very violent and his reason is a pretty tough one for the Northwests.
Abilities: Levitate objects, hold objects (maybe the object used in killing him/his main skill?), physically interact with objects, Transform the entire environment/room/hall, Bring taxidermized animals to life, Cause blood to drip from said animals, Force living people in suspended animation, Alter his appearance slightly (very majestic beard of blue fire), and probably some more.
Weaknesses: Silver Mirror, Exorcism, can still be reasoned with or move on after the deal’s fulfilled.
Advice: Pray for Mercy. That worked so well, Stanford.
More ghostly headcanons and junk :
Instead of the number of years these ghosts have stayed behind correlating to their category, it’s also possible that the more violent their deaths areOR their reason to haunt their place of death, places them in various categories. Ford ranked them in terms of strength, and basically I’m here wondering how they got their strength.
Ghosts typically take on the same appearance as they were when they died. The Lumberjack ghost just looks cooler with all that fire.
They can only move on once their reason for haunting is known/fulfilled.
Lower category ghosts cannot make themselves be seen…yet.
Higher category ghosts can be seen and slightly alter how they look like.
The Mindscape is between the physical realm and the afterlife. It’s always grey and basically limbo. Once a ghost moves on to the afterlife, their mindscape transforms into something more vibrant and colorful.
Not used to writing stuff so I hope I made sense!! nOW GO FORTH AND MAKE MORE SAD GHOST HEADCANONS-
Finally, one of the sheepies is done! I’m very happy with how he came out, it’s hard to take good pictures of a black animal but he looks very handsome :,)
This is the first ungulate I’ve ever taxidermized, it was fun to learn more about anatomy I’m unfamiliar with.
In American Mythology, there is a beast known as
shhuhnkha Warahwalkin, which is an Ioway term meaning “carries off dogs.” Described as a large canine like creature, with black fur and a vicious bite, it remains one of the few cryptids with physical evidence. In 1896, an individual was shot by Israel Ammon Hutchins on Sun Ranch in Montana. The specimen was taxidermed and put on display by Joseph Sherwood in his drug store. The specimen vanished after the closing of the store, but was found again back in 2007. Several suggestions have arisen, ranging from an oddly colored wolf to a Hyaenadon, an extinct creature from a family that wen extinct around the middle of the Miocene.
With the evidence shown above, most would say that it’s a new animal and label it done. Myself, I’m not so bought on it. The specimen is not done too terribly well, and looks more like a poorly taxidermic wolf than anything else. With this, it isn’t hard to propose that modern sightings are just abnormally dark wolves these days. I could see the original beasts being a remnant of Dire wolves, but if they were, they most certainly died out when the buffalo herds and other large game were severely reduced in number, cutting their food source out and starving whatever relict population to death.