Crustacean Predictions

We have received word from the Surreal Institute that Mrs Brown’s Handbag has safely found a new host, Mrs Lintilla Brown of New Orleans. Mrs Brown is a caring, family-centred grandmother with a talent for home cooking and a house full of photographs. The handbag could surely not have found a better home.

Please note that at least one figure plane spotting at the nearby Louis Armstrong airport shows signs of being radio controlled. Mrs Brown is not without protection. We strongly suggest that you leave well alone.

In more disturbing news the crab linguistics researchers in Thailand have contacted us about the changing nature of their sand rune messages. Since last Wednesday the messages left their usual descriptions of tide and predators and became more knowing and more erudite. They now talk about things that crabs have no business knowing about, that most humans have no business knowing about. The researchers have been scrambling to translate the new topics, but are stymied by the massive new vocabulary, for example:

“They move among the stars like hungry gulls. The star gulls’ gaping beaks seeking rock, seeking life, seeking [unknown, similar to word for “one”]. Pull into your shell and hope they do not see this world has [same unknown word].”

One hypothesis is that the crabs have somehow become a minor oracle, one unconnected to any human religion. Another that they have been possessed or contaminated with the soul of H. Montaigne, whose dead toes they once nibbled. Neither of these seems particularly likely, although the date of this change is disturbing to me. One does not last long as an Archivist if one believes in coincidence.

The research team has suddenly found themselves thrust from a minor curiosity of blue-skies paranormal research to front page science. They report that the crustacean messages have changed not only in content, but tone. The crabs used to be upbeat and cheerfully simple, now their messages are often tinged with sadness. Knowledge, as ever, has a price.

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