Thursday, April 29, 2010

Previously Unpublished.

I've been working nearly 12 hour days training for my new job combined with setting up my installation so I haven't really been able to update this blog. So today I'm posting the long lost story behind Arthur Giraffe, published in issue 2 of Dewclaw.

"Arthur? Well let's just say Arthur is not the Giraffe he used to be. Hmmm, well I suppose it's best to start from the beginning, or from the time that I met him, I should say. Like all young English Giraffes Arthur started his studies at Oxford University wide eyed and eager to learn. He scored high marks and was at the top of his class in the study of linguistics and ancient civilizations. He was quite the go getter back then. Unfortunately for all of us, and especially for Arthur, his youth and spirit got the best of him. While pursuing his PHD he fell in with that dreadful Professor Pierson crowd and signed up for an expedition in search of the sunken pyramid of Kalimu.

Now, let me explain. Kalimu was an ancient African prince who's entire kingdom was washed away in a great flood nearly four thousand years ago. According to legend, before the flood Prince Kalimu gathered all the knowledge and literature of his people, knowledge far more advanced than in any kingdom of it's time, and sealed it in a giant pyramid, which supposedly now lies at the bottom of the ocean floor.

Unable to dissuade Arthur in the face of ancient knowledge, treasure, and above all, adventure, I wished him good luck and hoped for the best. Unfortunately the best is far from what happened. We lost contact with them shortly after they arrived in African waters. Months passed and after a year they were all presumed dead. We even held a funeral for them! I myself delivered a very moving eulogy. But, miraculously, three years after they had set sail they returned to the English channel. All of them! Allegedly a giant storm had blown them off course and they had been sailing in circles since then, trying to find their way back home. Relieved that everyone was back and safe the University officials were satisfied enough, but something did not sit right. I didn't know the others well, but I could tell Arthur was profoundly different, and he has only gotten worse since then. Oh, of course he was hired by the university to compensate for any alterations he may have accrued in service to their expedition, but it does him no good. He spends most of his time mumbling in dead languages and constructing purposeless contraptions out of silverware and yarn. Lately he's developed a habit of collecting jars of air, which he has classified by location, elevation, and precipitation. I visit with him every Thursday for tea and a game of chess. One of these days I'm going to win, too. I don't know what happened to him on that expedition, but whatever it was, I wish it hadn't. Who knows what would have become of Arthur Giraffe?"

- Doctor Charles D. Rabbit; Professor of Linguistics
Oxford University, Great Britain c.1902

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