Friday, January 27, 2012

zut alors!


I felted this narwhal as part of Catherine's Christmas present. I also felted a colossal squid for Monika. Of course, I took pictures of neither squid nor narwhal, so I'm forced to rely upon the proactive photography of my sisters in order to document the little beasties. Hmm. Still waiting for some squid shots. Oddly enough. Monika. Monika...


Narwhals are my favorite cetacean and have been for a long time--we don't jump on the narwhal boat willy-nilly--although I can't speak for my sisters in terms of favorite whales. Here are some reasons why narwhals are so AWESOME.

Reason #1 Narwhal are also known as the corpse whale...because they look like floating corpses, of course. And nar actually means corpse in Norse. People knew how to name things back in the day.
Reason #2 That bony protuberance in the whale's snoutal (not a word) region is actually a tooth or, if you prefer, a tusk. Yep, it grows through the roof of their mouth and the area around it is almost always infested with whale lice. Almost always. 
Reason #3 People used to pass off narwhal tusks as unicorn horns. (I seem to recall Catherine telling me that there is a throne made from narwhal tusks in Denmark. I find this bit of information to be of the most excellent variety.)
Bonus Reason, after the fact: I know a lovely poet, Kathryn Nuernberger, who has a poem featuring the narwhal. She references the fact that Queen Elizabeth I was given a narwhal tusk--they were considered very precious. Not to give anything away/, but the poem's last stanza winds down thusly:

                                                                         View from the port bow: A dozen dark backs undulating

                                                                                                 wavelessly through the mist. The Queen said poetically: These 

                                                                                                  are the great diving beasts of a deeply held breath.



My narwhal's tusk is made from a pipe cleaner, white wool roving, and embroidery thread. 


Let me tell you, I felted this sucker tight. You could probably break a window with its body. I just should have made the tail area a bit thinner--for the sake of accuracy. Only regret.


Even though it's just wool punched together with a barbed needle, I feel like my narwhal has very gentle, intelligent eyes. I keep calling it my narwhal, when actually it's Catherine's narwhal. Le sigh.


But wait. What's this? 


Zut alors! 


It's Peanut, the bad kitten!




Peanut does not have a permit to hunt narwhal. I don't know what Catherine was doing. Kitten supervision, sister!



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