Since the dawn of recorded history there have been tantalizing clues and legends of mysterious creatures roaming the earth. Some of them have remained a mystery and will most likely forever remain so, living out their existence only in myth and legend.
Just such account begins in 1911. Sir Cornelius "Corny" Arbigast finds himself with nothing
to occupy his time. Being a member of the gentry it would be unseemly for him to
get a job. But Corny wasn't happy being idle.
One evening he was having dinner
with his favorite uncle. Lord
Buxley Wellington, who was an
esteemed member of the board
of scholars at the Royal Museum
of Unnatural Species. His uncle
suggests he set out on an expedition
to find the Giant Anacondapede.
The Giant Anacondapede was a fearsome creature rumored to be 13 feet
to possibly even up to 18 feet long living in the jungles of Bolivia that would squeeze it's prey and tickle them with their legs, until every ounce of air was forced out of their lungs where they would commence to eat them.
Arbigast wasn't terribly sure he wanted to find such a beast. But wanting
to impress his uncle and possibly gain a seat on the board of scholars
of the Royal Museum of Unnatural Species, he agreed...with some trepidation.
Corny booked passage on steamer ship bound for South America
Traveling on the same ship was a plucky young lady named Penelope Farthington. She was traveling as the companion of Countess Abigail Von Nikkerwissle.
Unfortunately...or perhaps fortunately,
depending on how you look at it the Countess
was plagued by a severe case of mal de mer
practically at the onset of the trip, keeping
her abed for the entire voyage. This left
Miss Farthington to her own devices.
Penelope met Arbigast on the first night of their trip during dinner. She was seated next to him at the captains table and became enthralled by his tales of mysterious beasts and adventures. Arbigast who was enjoying the attention of such a lovely young lady may have embellished them slightly.
By the end of the voyage Penelope couldn't imagine not joining him on this latest escapade. But being a proper young lady she simply couldn't accompany him without a chaperone...so they did the only thing two young people filled with mutual admiration could do. They had the ship captain marry them! When the disembarked in Bolivia, they were man and wife!
They made their way to Pampas and were met by their expedition guide Salvador. Salvador was a true romantic at heart and planned an impromptu nuptial celebration straight away.
Corny noticed some vines growing on the wall behind them. Hanging from the vines
were some delectible looking fruit. He reached up to pick one. Salvador yelled; "no, fruta loca!" but it was too late. The creature fell from the vine and dashed across the table and into the jungle, to the bewilderment of everyone!
Arbigast prided himself on his multilinguistics, bad as they were and interpreted "fruta loca" to mean "thingamabobber." He was of course wrong but no one corrected him out of respect.
Sir Cornelius was from that point forward determined to capture a "Thingamabobber." All thoughts about finding the Giant Anacondapede mercifully had fled.
After roughly 6 months traipsing around the jungles of Bolivia Arbigast and company had finally found a pair of "Bobbers" as they had come to refer to them. Keeping the pair in a birdcage, they set off back to England to present their find to the scholars at the Royal Museum of Unnatural Species.
do have a basis
in scientific fact
and are occasionally
found by stalwart
explorers and scholars
intent on discovering
and studying these
Yet others are
found purely by
The scholars were indeed impressed and flabberghasted by Corny's discovery. For years
following there was much study and discussion of these creatures.
Scientists could never quite agree what species they were but they did accept them as being part Chayote fruit and part Mollusk...or
perhaps they were part Onion and part Hedgehog..or perhaps...well the debate raged on for decades in late night salons despite the official classification.
Cornelius and Penelope went on to have a life filled with many more adventures, children, love and the the first Bobber breeding sanctuary.
Image courtesy of the Royal Museum of Unnatural Species