The Hidden Almanac for
Friday November 28th, 2014
Episode 190
Previous episode: 2014-11-26
Next episode: 2014-12-01


Today we remember another Hateful Decree. It is also the birthday of the illustrator Mabel Sang. It is the Feast Day of St. Anna of the Highlands, and in the garden, it is time for catalogues.

Be Safe, and Stay Out of Trouble.


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

Today is November 28th, 2014.

It was on this day in 1782 that the Librarian Prince issued a Hateful Decree against penguins. He decided that he hated penguins, that their apparent attire was an affront, being not nearly formal enough. (It should be noted that in the court of the Librarian Prince, getting dressed could take four hours and involve six or seven layers of clothing, lace, ruffs, bobs, wigs, hats, scarves, sashes, and so forth.) Penguins were banned within city limits, and depictions of penguins were stamped by censors with large red stamps reading “UNCLEAN.” It was not so much Hateful as very peculiar, but everyone was mostly just pleased that he had not banned something economically valuable and carried on.

And it is the birthday, in 1916, of the illustrator Mabel Sang, who produced over three thousand paintings in her lifetime. Although broadly disdained by the fine art establishment for being an illustrator and a woman of color, Sang was one of the most highly sought-after illustrators of the day, producing hundreds of magazine cover, postage stamp designs, and advertising campaigns. Her artwork appeared on posters advertising war bonds in three different countries. (She said, somewhat ironically, that she had only been paid by one of those countries.) Sang died in 1999, one of the most prolific of modern artists, and the value of her work is only now being truly appreciated by critics.

It is the Feast Day of Saint Anna of the Highlands, whose many miracles include walking atop the ripened stalks of wheat and standing on a leaping mountain goat as it traversed the crags. St. Anna’s miracles most involved miraculous balance, and so she is the patron of acrobats and gymnasts, and appealed to in the event of inner ear disorders. She is portrayed as a young girl standing on the back of a goat standing on top of a single stalk of wheat. Her icons tend to be rather tall and narrow as a result.

In the garden, the first of the seed catalogs has completed its long migration to the mailbox. We have gathered around its warmth, delighting in its message of hope at the end of a long and probably bitter winter. Select readings from the catalog shall follow, as we discover our favorites.

Meanwhile, George the crow has been enduring the weather. He is very soggy and rather sad, but we are not going to bring him indoors because then he will be a house crow and that does no one any favors. Wild animals should stay as wild as possible. We are providing food and a warm patch of porch to roost in, and some people would say that even that is too much. Those people are wrong.

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 all of the spiders.

That’s the Hidden Almanac for November 28th, 2014. Be safe, and stay out of trouble.


Out of Character

The Hidden Almanac is a production of Dark Canvas Media, and is written by Ursula Vernon. Our exit music is Red in Black and our into music is Moon Valley, both by Kosta T. You can hear more music from Kosta T at the Free Music Archive. The Hidden Almanac is copyright 2013-2014, Ursula Vernon.

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