The Hidden Almanac for
Wednesday December 11th, 2013
Episode 39
Previous episode: 2013-12-09
Next episode: 2013-12-13


Today we remember the victims of the Blue Bonnet Button Factory explosion. It is also the day Eland the Younger discovered the Giggling Hyrax. It is the Feast Day of St. Lapus, and in the garden, we read about the Startling Melon.

Be Safe, and Stay Out of Trouble.


Welcome to the Hidden Almanac, I’m Reverend Mord. Today is December 11th, 2013.

It was on this day in 1942 that an explosion rocked the Blue Bonnet Button Factory,[1] shaking the building to its foundations. Buttons were fired in all directions, breaking windows and embedding themselves into walls. A #7 red shoe button was found several blocks over, buried in a telephone pole.

Fortunately the explosion occurred several hours before the morning shift, so the only casualties were the night watchmen and two teenagers making out behind the dumpster. The cause of the explosion was never determined.

And it was on this day that the naturalist Eland the Younger noted the discovery of the Giggling Hyrax.[2] This small rodent-like creature is distantly related to elephants and lives in rocky outcroppings in the Glass Wastes. It finds everything funny and will begin laughing hysterically at the slightest provocation. “Collection of this specimen was exceedingly simple,” Eland notes, “as it saw me, pointed, laughed, fell over, and was so convulsed with merriment that it did not notice Heinrich behind it with a rock.” Giggling Hyraxes have no predators and are not hunted for skins, meat, or any other reason, although people occasionally evict colonies for being extremely annoying.

Today is the Feast Day of Saint Lapus, a saint that does not appear to actually exist. Hagiographers trace Saint Lapus to a much older figure in folklore known as the Father of Rabbits.[3] The Sacred Well of Saint Lapus is likely a holdover from this tradition, and indeed, there is nothing particular religious about the well. There are, however, a very large number of jackrabbits around it, who watch visitors carefully from underneath the sagebrush.

In the garden, we continue to read seed catalogs. A favorite entry, from the Rare Earth Seed Catalog, reads as follows:

Startling[4] Melon—90 days. This gorgeous heirloom melon produces 15-lb fruit with a bright green rind. The interior is shocking red and the juice opaque, so cutting into it resembles a blood bath. Flesh is firm and of a fine flavor. Uniform in shape and resistant to melon-burn and squash weevils.

The Hidden Almanac is brought to you by Red Wombat Tea Company, purveyors of fine and inaccessible teas. Red Wombat — "We Dig Tea."

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That’s the Hidden Almanac for December 11th, 2013. Be Safe, and Stay Out of Trouble.


Out of Character

The Hidden Almanac is a production of Dark Canvas Media, written by Ursula Vernon and performed and produced by Kevin Sonney. Our theme music is Moon Valley and our exit music is Red in Black, both by Kosta T. You can hear more from Kosta T at the Free Music Archive. All other content is copyright 2013, Ursula Vernon.


  1. Compare the fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, which unfortunately didn't have such a good outcome
  2. The hyrax is a real small rodent-like creature, and it really is one of the nearest living relatives of the elephants, but it generally leaves the hysterical laughter to the hyaenas
  3. The Father of Rabbits appears in Ursula Vernon's story "Jackalope Wives"
  4. Rev. Mord pronounces it "Starling", but it seems pretty clear "Startling" is correct