The Hidden Almanac for
Friday January 16th, 2015
Episode 211
Previous episode: 2015-01-14
Next episode: 2015-01-19


Today a fleet of rubber ducks sailed. It is also the day a whale opera was released. It is the Feast Day of St. Peter of Truffston, and in the garden, the radishes are frozen.

Be Safe, and Stay Out of Trouble.


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

Today is January 16th, 2015.

It was on this day in 2001 that a fleet of rubber ducks sailed down the Autumn River during a warm snap. There were thousands of ducks, which made a bright, cheerful armada and warmed the hearts of those who saw them. Then they began clogging intake pipes and people were less thrilled. At first, it was suspected that a relentless optimist was behind the duck fleet, or perhaps an artist. Later it was determined that a factory container had overturned, releasing the ducks. Cleanup cost several hundred thousand dollars and random ducks featured in ad campaigns for the next six months.

And it was On this day that the whale wisewoman, Six Notes Returning From The Western Stars, finished her scandalous opera, the proper title of which takes approximate a week to sing, and which is commonly known as “The One With The Sharks.” It documents the illict love between a right whale and a whale shark, and was considered scandalous. “It is strange enough that a female humpback sings,” said one underwater critic, “but to sing about such obscene topics is shameful. This is obscenity, not art.” The One With The Sharks was translated (loosely) into human languages and made millions of dollars, which, since whales do not have a capitalist economy, were donated to causes that prevent whaling, clean up the oceans, and provide grants to non-human artists.

It is the Feast Day of Saint Peter of Truffston. His history is unknown and his name comes down to us solely because of the spring known as “St. Peter’s Well” which is found some miles outside of Truffston. Fanciful monks in the 14th century made up lengthy epics about St. Peter, which included plagues, the ghosts of martyrs, being swallowed by an enormous turtle, and ascension to heaven. The well is alternately described as the hoofprints of Peter’s pet unicorn, the landing place of archangels, the hole dug by the Devil to flee the righteousness of the saint, and, perhaps most distressingly, the anus of the giant turtle which had swallowed Peter.

Modern scholars believe that “Saint peter” is actually a corruption of star-peat, the name of a local wildflower that grows in abundance around the well, and the saint most likely is an accident of linguistics.

In the garden, the radishes had frozen solid. It is rather regrettable and makes harvest extremely difficult, given that the ground is also frozen. Many manuals will tell you that root vegetables can be kept safely in the ground for months. Those manuals are not lying, but they are not always entirely correct, either. The best method of extracting frozen daikons is to use the narrow weed-fork that you would use to pull the taproots of particularly pernicious weeds. Do your best. Life is difficult sometimes.

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 Friends of George the crow. We’re here for you, George!

That’s the Hidden Almanac for January 16th, 2015. 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 through 2015, Ursula Vernon.

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