cool stuff round up

I cried tears of joy when I saw this:

Resident Charlottesville McGuffey artist Arnaud Boudoiron is doing a truly beautiful job of illustrating the animals, and the acacia tree, for Law of the Jungle, the animated short of The Red Toad and the Buffalo. It is a rather tricky task to illustrate in stained glass, but “Arno” has a very natural grace with it and I couldn’t be more pleased.

Meanwhile, I have been enjoying a pleasant correspondence with someone who doesn’t have a lot of general notoriety, but at least to me is a celebrity: Kristin Laidre.

Her groundbreaking work with Narwhals first came to my attention in this truly amazing Smithsonian article from 2009, In Search of the Mysterious Narwhal. I thanked Kristin for providing great context and background for The Young Narwhal. Kristin writes:

Thanks, very nice! I’m doing field work in Greenland on narwhals right now so it’s fun to read the story. I like their names!”


I am also working on the last short story for my collection of animal fables. The others almost wrote themselves, but this one is not coming easy. The concept is crystal clear, but the story is shrouded. It will probably end up reading nothing like this, but here is a sample of where #7 is today.

There were two of them. The sky gleamed grey like a cannon over the heavy sulfur glare, and there were two of them.

The black one’s features were swallowed up by his midnight darkness. A hint of shoulders, a suggestion of flanks, a shadow of a tail, permitted the correct conclusion: cat.

When the black cat walked alone, his bright, right forepaw alone drew the eye. Its movement, devoid of context, was like a frog’s. An arc and a pause; an arc and a pause. It was fiery orange.

The orange one’s features were stenciled in sharp relief by the fine stripes that seemed to drip down from his spine like blood. His emerald green eyes did not blink.

When the orange cat walked alone, it startled the eye that he did not stumble. His left foreleg appeared to end at the ankle. But no; the paw was there, and sound. Just blacker than the pit.

But when their steps fell in together, as they did that night, the illusion was imperforate. One orange cat. One black shadow.

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