The deformed Elephant God of Val Yu Village

 Ia! Ia! Cthulu fthagn!

Note the fleshy sucker like mouth at the end of the tentacle like snout; the ribby swept back 'ears', the reddish baleful eyes. The ringed lichen-like spots and the shiny black hooves complete the unearthly appearance of this strange small, crudely ( could we say devolved?) sculpture...

One of the great treats of junk shops is old books, and one of the greatest pleasures of old books is references to even older books.
I found a copy of Willy Leys book on cryptobiology - printed before the term even became fashionable, or possibly even coined.
Flipping it open, I immediately found the following footnote:

"'Another one, hardly known to naturalists, is described in an interesting book which privately printed in 1858. Its author was one Dr. L. Lewysohn, who called himself "Preacher of the Isrealitic Congregation of Worms." The title of the book is Zoologie des Talmuds (Zoology of the Talmud)..."

My practical side assumes them mean the city Worms, but its a pretty marvellous title to a English speaker.
'Prediger der israelitischen Gemeinde von Worms'?

Amazon claims I can buy a copy, but Amazon claims that of all apocrypha, and I haven't 85 pounds to spare in testing the theory.

I also found a copy of  ' The Frozen Stream, An Account Of The Formation And Properties Of Ice'  by Charles Tomlinson,  published by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. It has some fascinating anecdotes concerning fabulous cold:

'In St Petersburg...Every one is very uneasy about his nose and ears which are very apt to get frozen; and as the sufferer is not aware of his danger by any previous uncomfortable sensation, the first person in the street who observes a nose putting on the appearance of white marble,  exclaims "Sir! sir! Your nose! Your nose!" and taking up a handful of snow, applies it to the strangers face and endeavors , by briskly rubbing, to restore the circulation. these are salutations which people of accustomed to in such climates, and by which thousands of these valued organs are saved from the clutches of the frost.' (emphasis mine.)

"The bodies of whales have been found embedded in icebergs..."

Bizarrely, the chapters on refrigeration and ice making are practical and accurate, as well as his adventures on the Saint John River during the Canadian winter. Its the mundane chapters that make the seasoning of madness more piquant: in what mind could the salutation of  "Сэр! сэр! Ваш нос! Ваш нос!" followed by a face full of snow seem reasonable?

As always, my reason staggers.


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