The Hidden Almanac for
Friday January 31st, 2014
Episode 61
Previous episode: 2014-01-29
Next episode: 2014-02-03


Today a child was inspired by snow, or lack there-of. It is also the day “Eight Slices of Pineapple” was published, and is the day a mouse escaped. It is the Feast Day of St. Snuggox, and in the garden there are thrashers.

Be Safe, and Stay Out of Trouble.


Welcome to the Hidden Almanac, I’m Reverend Mord.

Today is January 31st, 2014.

It was on this day in 1967 that a small child stood with her nose pressed against the glass, waiting for snow to fall. Despite the promises of weather forecasters, snow did not fall. This shattered the small child’s faith in both the system and the goodness of the universe. She grew up to become a great humanitarian and developed the first inexpensive malaria vaccine, saying “No one will help us, and so we have no choice but to help ourselves.”

And it was on this day that the novel Eight Slices of Pineapple was published. Hailed as an extraordinary coming of age novel, a tour-de-force, and a work of maddening genius, it swept all the major awards, including the Royal Medal for Literary Valor. All this occurred despite the fact that no one knew the name of the author, and the book was listed as being simply by “Anonymous.” Some years later, an obsessed reporter tracked the author to an abandoned tenement building, which had achieved sentience and was quietly posting manuscripts through its front mail slot. The reporter went quite mad, although his colleagues all said that he was near the edge anyway. Eight Slices of Pineapple remains on most high school literature curriculums to this day.

And it was on this day that Lady Vervain, a mouse spy for the Council of Sixteen, succeeded in seducing the squirrel second-in-command and lifting the next week’s battle plans. As she was leaving the tree, her faux tail came loose and fell off, revealing her identity as a mouse. She boldly flung herself off a tree, breaking a leg on impact, and limped to safety before the started[1] squirrels could follow.

As the plans included news of the mice’s betrayal by a previously trusted group of sparrows, her act of valor undoubtedly saved many rodent lives. She was awarded the Red Cheese and spent the remainder of the war in a snug drainpipe, recovering.

Today is the Feast Day of St. Snuggox, about which very little is known. The only reference to this obscure saint occurs in the margins of the rambling Encyclopedia of Leaves, a sometimes fanciful medieval bestiary. The margin note, translated, reads, “It is the Feast of Snuggox. We must burn rugs and lavender.” No one is entirely sure what to make of this.

In the garden, brown thrashers are about, searching in the leaves for overwintering insects. Thrashers are large, wild-eyed birds with long, sharp beaks. Novice birders may mistake them for the similarly colored hermit thrush. The easy mnemonic device is that the hermit thrush has a brown back, reddish tail, and streaked breast, while the brown thrasher appears to have killed a hermit thrush and worn its skin around like a serial killer.

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

Also brought to you by Dark Branch Brewing Company’s Spiced Honey Liqueur. It’s cold out. We can’t fix that, and neither can you. But if you drink enough Dark Branch, it won’t matter anyway. Dark Branch: When you’re just trying to endure.

That’s the Hidden Almanac for January 31st, 2014. 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.

Notes Edit

  1. Reverend Mord does indeed say "started", but one suspects a typo in his notes, as "startled" would appear to be more apposite

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