Fieldguide – Animals & Insects

Devil-Cat

Huge double-tailed black cat that for some reason always lands up on the wrong side of the law. Terrified of watermelons. Loves vegetables, especially carrots.

When Devil-Cat was a tiny baby, he was left alone in the nest while his mother went to a meeting. Their nest happened to be in a watermelon tree. There was an old over-ripe watermelon on a branch overhanging the nest, and unfortunately it looked somewhat like the face of an old leathery monster. Poor little devil-cat lay cowering in the nest for over 6 hours thinking he was about to be eaten by the monster. Ever since then, he’s been scared of watermelons.

Devil-Cat’s dad was strict and seemed to be constantly disappointed with his only son. Devil-cat’s mom and seventeen sisters were constantly doting and fussing over him. Researchers have not been sure why he turned to the dark side. Perhaps to please his father? Perhaps to escape from the cloying over-protectiveness of his mom and sisters?

Pinkfish

Like goldfish, but a different color. Pink actually.
Very tame when happy, but when bored can be aggressive and bite like pirañas.
Need constant attention, i.e. have to be walked, entertained, read to before bed etc…
Some rich pinkfish actually have their own walk-bowls.
Walk-bowls are bowls that can walk, in case you were wondering.

Pinkfish are freshwater fish, and originate from lake iWalam. Monkey Bay is particularly well-known for large schools, and the local hatchery, run by Mr. Stevens, exports worldwide.

Pinkfish are always the same color and are more intelligent and more valuable than other fish. If someone tries to sell you a pinkfish that is not pink, don’t buy it, because it’s not a pinkfish. So for example, if it’s yellow, it’s not a pinkfish, but a yellowfish.

The criminal family, the Vena Cavas of Inner-Volgrogia, once set up a massive pinkfish fraud operation. They discovered that if you feed regular goldfish strawberry ice cream for at least 2 years, the goldfish start to turn pink. A number of high-profile people were tricked before the scam was uncovered, and the entire Vena Cava family went to prison, initially in Inner-Volgrogia, but after bad behaviour were transferred to Devil-nose Island, where they remain to this day.

Grobsnots

Endearingly grumpy insects, a little like bees.
Like bees, their honey is delicious and they sting.

Only left-handed people (like Mr. Hogsbottom and Mrs. Tadros) are allergic to them.

Grobsnots originate deep within Moremi Forest, and their numbers grow the closer you get to the exact center of the forest. But to date, nobody has ventured that far in. It is said that vast swarms of grobsnots are actually guarding something in there, but this is just a theory.

Grobsnot stings are harmless unless of course you are left-handed. If that’s the case, a sting results in a pink swelling which then turns blue and then turns green. The green lump then starts to throb and vibrate and sometimes forms a volcano-like summit. If squeezed of perforated, the volcano will excrete a runny luminous liquid which is actually perfect for making invisible ink.

Unlike bees, it is actually possible to train grobsnots. Professor Seymour Masterson, a well-known circus impresario started the now-famous Grobsnot Traveling Circus during his retirement. It went on to do a world tour and made Professor Masterson a multi-multi-multimillionaire. When his children started fighting over the money, he donated it all to a bunch of organizations and businesses, including:

Darwin Cycles: ($1 million)
Institute of Leopard-Crawling and other Stealth Ground Manoeuvres (ILCSGM): ($1 million)
Quadcycle Training Academy: ($3 million)
Sniffsonian Museum: ($22 million)
Swedhump Elementary Circus Building: ($12 million)
Triplocopter Flight Training Academy: ($8 million)

Saw-toothed Doublodiles

Vicious nasty things that can cut through anything with their teeth.
Except Krypto-web. They can’t cut through Krypto-web.
Some are vegetarian while others are carnivorous (such as the flesh-eating, saw-toothed doublodiles that breed around Devil Nose Island)

Believed to originate from the south-western (swampy) side of Moremi Forest these creatures are able to live in both fresh and salt water. They are especially fond of river mouths (i.e. where rivers open into the sea).

The largest one ever recorded was 21ft, i.e. roughly the length of a triplocopter. Younger doublodiles are actually more dangerous than the older ones as they are impulsive and have less jaw control.

Eggs are laid in batches of 3 and a two week old doublodile is already dangerous. They particularly enjoy human fingers.

And if that’s not bad enough, a chameleon version is believed to exist. Theses creatures are able to change their skin colour to fit in with their environment. A flying version is also said to exist, but we don’t believe it. The explorer Godfrey Pomm-Fretts claimed to have seen a whole flock of them, but as you well know, he has a reputation for talking absolute nonsense.

Sweds

Two-faced humped antelope-type creatures found on open plains and near rivers. They say if you rub the hump of a swed at full moon, it will bring you good luck for a month.
Swedhump Elementary is named after them.

The three most common kinds are:

Grinning sweds: Mischievous. Collum Ollum once had one as a pet.
Grumpy sweds: The nicest kind. Friendly and sweet.
Smiling sweds: The smile is deceptive – they do actually bite.

Sweds are common on the eastern fringes of Moremi Forest.

They build their nests in Makataka trees, down small burrows, or in dry riverbeds. Eggs are usually laid in batches of 3.

The Great Swed Migration occurs in February and heads south, down to the Open Plains where they assemble in the tens of thousands and do some weird stuff over the month of March. In April they head back north again.

Snarling Jetpack Hogs

Snarling Jetpack Hogs don’t need much explaining.
They are hogs, with jetpacks, that snarl.
Often accompany Mindreading-Scallywags.
They fly fast and are vicious.
Allergic to walrus milk.

It is not known where these creatures come from, nor who manufacturers their jetpacks.

Some speculate that the they are made in the Laboratory of Darkness (the secret research laboratory at the Scallywag Academy).

Since a snarling jetpack-hog has never been captured, it’s unsure whether they are actually born with the jetpack on them, or if it is attached at later date. If it is attached at a later date, who attaches it? This question is unresolved. Radar tracking devices in the SCC show that jetpack-hogs can reach cruising speeds of up to 80 miles per hour.

Sniders

Sniders are like spiders, but 20% worse.
They have 10 legs.
Like spiders, some are nice, and some are horrible if disturbed or threatened.
And like spiders, if left in peace, they leave you in peace.
Mind-Reading Scallywags are completely terrified of them.

Sniders, like spiders, make webs.

An extraordinary discovery was made in 2013 by the Head of the Snider Research Institute, Professor Trollop Codswollopp. When studying multiple webs, she realised that sniders actually communicate with each other via their webs, i.e. the webbing is like a telephone wire. Snidese (Snider language) has yet to be interpreted, but progress is being made.

Sniders are found all over the Moremi Forest, and their personality-type tends to mirror the terrain, i.e. sniders on the eastern border (near Swedhump Elementary) tend to be more friendly and benign, whereas those that come from the west, particularly the south-west, can be a little nasty.

A snider bite hurts for a few days and can become itchy. Rubbing smushroom juice on the wound can ease pain and itching.

Invizizzes

An Invizizz is a type of stinging insect. If it stings you, the part of you that got stung goes invisible briefly, for an hour or so. If you get stung by several, you might go completely invisible, temporarily. It is believed that if you get stung by a swarm of over 1,000, you could go invisible forever. It is rumored that this is what happened to the Principal of Swedhump Elementary, Mrs. Rosebank.

The Invizizz Migration is a bi-annual event.

Invizizzes cannot be tamed, bred or farmed. A chap by the name of Walter Smellendrink once tried to capture and tame a swarm that happened to be passing by his tractor shed. He hasn’t been seen since.

It is believed that Mr. Rosebank, a leading expert on invisibility, has used invizizz serum in his experiments. He is very interested in developing an antidote for invizizz stings because of what happened to his wife, or is rumoured to have happened to his wife.

Nobody knows exactly where invizizzes come from, but it is believed it’s somewhere deep in the Moremi Forest. Invizizzes and Grobsnots, while not enemies, are not good friends. They maintain cordial relations but you tend not to find them in the same areas.

Osteops

Osteops are a bit likes cows, but not at all. They are totally different to cows, apart from their milk, which is delicious. They can be domesticated and it’s pretty easy to milk them. Most doctors recommend one glass of osteop milk per day, to be drunk between 7 and 8 am.

Large herds of wild osteops inhabit the foothills of The Foothills. Their milk is legendary. When osteops move up to higher terrain, their milk is not so great.

Osteops lay eggs in batches of 6. The eggs hatch after 1 month. Mother osteops become violent during the entire laying-to-hatching period so must be avoided at all costs. A lady by the name of Dorothea Afikomen once approached an Osteop just as the eggs were hatching. Dorothea Afikomen was never seen again.

The Great Osteop Stampede of 1999 was a stampede of osteops. It was in 1999. Over 30,000 osteops converged at the muster station at sunrise, and began a southbound stampede when the stampede bugle sounded at 6am.

Stampede distance: 8 miles
Stampede winner: Osteop #17,434
Stampeded dust-cloud seen from distance of: 74 miles

It is possible to ride Osteops. Mr. Grodzinsky is actually a very good rider and is considering introducing osteop racing as a new school sport. It will be debated before the Swedhump Elementary CSLHSC (Curriculum, Sport & Leisure Health & Safety Sub Committee) next month.

Smellephants

Smellephants are a bit like elephants, but they smell better. And I don’t mean they actually smell better, I mean they smell better, if you know what I mean. You don’t know what I mean?

So what I mean is they are better at smelling than elephants, because they can have up to 7 trunks.

Their favorite place to hang out in is smellephant grass. Obviously.

Smellephants are very social animals, and live in herds of up to 200. Like elephants, they are voracious eaters and are constantly feeding. They eat almost any vegetation, except the foliage of hammaphore trees. Smellephants love smushrooms.

Smellephants are friendly and good-natured, but cannot be tamed.

Prodigiosus Cantus Formicae (Ant Choir)

This is the World’s most famous ant choir.
Trained and taught by Dr. Williams.
They also have a dance routine – choreographed by Mr. Proudfoot.
“Prodigiosus Cantus Formicae” is Latin for “The Amazing Singing Ants”

The 40 permanent of the choir are listed alphabetically below.

First name (ant number)

Male members:

Antero (64,876)
Anthony (345,656,789)
Antioch (880)
Antoine (32,874,000)
Anton (5,651651)
Antonello (6,185,075,282)
Antonelllo (6,434,372)
Antonellllo (29,851)
Antonelllllllllo (6,936)
Antonellllllllllllllo (32,970)
Antoni (50,065,746)
Antonin (732,742)
Antonino (3,081,424)
Antonio (7,106,563,440)
Antonios (780,599)
Antonius (5,973)
Antony (6,209)
Antti (8,166,704,620)
Antwan (22,274)
Antwon (467,899)

Female members:

Anthea (5,074,648,276)
Anthee (35,810)
Anthi (11,182)
Anthoula (936,749)
Antinea (86,537)
Antje (2,012,729,224)
Antoinette (44,673)
Antonela (618,543)
Antonella (2,353,440)
Antonellla (4,340,151,464)
Antonelllla (378,825)
Antonetta (56,393)
Antonette (525)
Antonia (3,152,673)
Antonie (78,764)
Antonieta (43,684,905)
Antonietta (4,948,354,747)
Antonija (619,974,133)
Antonina (222,635)
Antonine (54,043)

Invizizz Migration

Bi-annual event where tens of millions of Invizizzes head south for the annual Invizizz Symposium and then north again to get home.
No-one knows what actually happens at the symposium.

Mr. Ghogghh was once collecting smushrooms in the Moremi Forest when the migration began. He hid under a log and watched. This is the first page of his 200 page report:

“It was a Sunday. I was in my office catching up on paperwork when I had a sudden desire for a smushroom sandwich. I looked in my locker and saw that I was out of smushrooms, so decided to go and gather some in the forest. After about 5 minutes of foraging, my bag was almost full and I was about to return to the school, when I head a buzzing sound. Invizizzes. Lots of them.

I dived under a log just in time. One flew past. Then another. Then another.

Then another. Then another. Then another. Then another. Then another. Then another. Then two more. Then another. Then another. Then another. And then another. Then another. Then another. Then another. Then another. Then another. Then another. Then another. Then another. Then another. Then another. Then another. Then another. Then another. Then another. Then another. Then another. Then another. Then another. And then another. Then another. Then another. Then another. The a group of seven. Then another. Then another. Then another. Then another. Then another. Then another. Then another. Then another. Then another. And then another. Then another. Then another. Then another. Then another. Then another. Then another. Then another. Then another. Then another. Then another. Then another. Then another. Then another. Then another. Then another.”

“Then another. Then another. Then another. Then another. Then another. Then another. Then another. Then another. Then another. Then another. Then another. Then another. Then another. Then another. Then another. Then another. Then another. And then another. Then another. Then another. And then another. Then another. Then another. Then another. Then another. Then another. Then another. Then another. Then another. Then another.”

The report then goes on like this for another 199 pages.

There is a copy of it in the library at Swedhump Elementary, and another copy is in the Priceless Manuscripts Vault at The Sniffsonian. It’s a great read!

Umbahorra

Large friendly-looking features with lovely smiles but devastating grins. This is due to their chronic halitosis (stinky breath). Their breath smells so bad it can actually kill you.

Umbahorras originate in the north-western fringes of Moremi Forest. The cause of their stinky breath is unknown. While they are seemingly gentle creatures, they are actually impossible to tame, so they have never been comprehensively studied.

Some known facts about them:

It is not known what they eat.
They seem to sleep underground.
They seem to smile most of the time.
Some have been known to grow as tall as trees.
They seem to communicate via low frequency, very weird hums.

Vibrating Cockroach of Awfulness (VCA)

VCAs can be found in any terrain and under almost any circumstances. And regrettably, they can fly. Their vibrations initially are harmless, but if allowed to continue for over 6 minutes (i.e. 360 seconds), everything just starts to feel awful. Scientists are so far not able to explain it. Examples of the awfulness:
[1] If you are baking a cake and a VCA is undetected in the area, the cake will taste awful.
[2] If you go to the hairdresser and a VCA is in the vicinity, your hair will look awful.
[3] If you’re singing in a concert and VCA is somewhere in the room, you will sound awful.

VCAs can be captured but cannot be tamed. In the cases where they were captured, things became so awful that they were always quickly released. It seems that the only way to capture one effectively is to somehow stop it from vibrating. But nobody knows how to do this.

VCAs are known to be extremely resilient. They have been found in glaciers, deep snow, deserts, on tiny islands, underwater, and even in the “death zone” on mountains, i.e. over 8,000 metres where there is not enough oxygen for humans to survive for extended periods.

The favourite nesting place for a VCA is under a sofa. If you suddenly start feeling awful, check under the sofa. You never know.

VCAs are not scared of much. Except toast. For some reason they are terrified of it.

Swedhump Elementary was once infested with VCAs, so Mrs. Rosebank called in the toaster trucks. These are large armoured vehiculated toasters that can fire of over 2000 slices per minute. It took them just a single morning to clear the place.

It is believed that most of the VCAs just flew over to Stumpnose Elementary, where they were welcomed with open arms. For some reason the school’s principal, Professor Inspector Josiah Stumpnose, loves VCAs.

VCAs grow from the size of a regular cockroach, all the way up to the size of a sheep. It really depends on diet and environment. Urban VCAs tend to grow much bigger than their rural counterparts.

Staircase Moose

Friendly creatures that can be tamed and become very useful for assistance with climbing up things. Same lifespan as humans. The staircase is not there when born, and usually only starts growing once the moose reaches the teenage years. Large herds of them are found in the northern reaches of Moremi forest.

Staircase mooses (or meese) are highly social and community-motivated.

And if you’re wondering why the plural of moose is meese, well it’s the same as goose.

Goose – geese
Moose – meese

Though teamwork, staircase meese are able to access to the delicious foliage on Makataka trees, which normally are too tall for a single animal to reach. Typical foraging formation involves forage pods of 6. They form pyramids in a 3,2 configuration and then the sixth moose climbs to the top to eat. They then change positions and through multiple rotations, all get their fair share.

It is said that long ago staircase meese could fly and that vast flocks of them were seen over Moremi forest. Examination of domestic meese does reveal what look like tiny embedded wings, but it could just be a skin pattern.

Desert-Quails

Desert-Quails are quails that live in deserts.
To stay cool, they spend most of the day underground, with just their heads sticking out. They have extendable necks.
Their eggs, known as deggs, are delicious.

Most desert-quails are red chested, i.e. red-chested desert-quails. They are the nice ones. They can be domesticated and bred, and some red-chested quail farms are world famous, such as Pasternok Farms & Hatchery.

Blue-chested desert-quails are the ones to be careful of. Very, very careful of. The are a lot less common that their red-chested brethren, but they are far less chill. In fact, they are downright super crazy-aggressive. In fact, they are carnivorous. They only eat meat. And fresh meat at that. If you see one, don’t just run. RUN!

Yellow-chested desert-quails are very relaxed and have beautiful singing voices.

Green-chested desert-quails are also quite chill, and love to dig. Their deggs are difficult to find, taste delicious and are highly sought-after.

Zebra-Hounds

Absolutely awful, terrible, horrible, vicious dogs.
Extremely expensive.
And extremely stupid.
Tend to be owned by criminals.
Favorite food: Madagascar-Pie

These dreadful dogs love to scare people. And to bite them. They are found wild in the very far south-western part of Moremi Forest. Over time they have been bred and domesticated by criminals like smugglers, poachers, burglars, hooligans, pickpockets and trespassers.

Huggy Bunnies

Huggy bunnies are extremely cute bunnies that love to be hugged. It is believed there might be something very dangerous about them, but to date, we have not managed to discover what it is.
Ice-Scallywags are completely and utterly terrified of them.

Huggy bunnies are fairly common. Their dens are found on mountains, hills, open-plains, tundra, oases, steppe, deserts, swamps, forests, marshes and along rivers, i.e. everywhere.

The typical family unit is 144, and they breed at an astounding rate. A mom huggy-bunny lays one egg every two months so has 6 babies per year. Do not try eat their eggs. A man once tried and he was never seen again. Nobody knows what happened to him, but it is believed that it was something bad.

As their name reveals, they love giving and receiving hugs. If you do hug one, make sure your eyes are shut during the hug, otherwise you might get bitten. Actually, you will get bitten. A huggy-bunny bite is very painful and often the scar never heals.

Huggy bunnies love carrots. If you feed them carrots, make sure to never point the sharp end of the carrot towards them. They find this offensive. If you do it, you will get bitten. A woman was once feeding some and persisted in pointing the sharp ends at them. She was dragged into one of their dens and never seen again. Nobody knows what happened to her, but it is believed that it was something bad.

Huggy bunnies love classical music. If you play it near their den, they all emerge and start humming and smiling and hugging each other. It’s a really wonderful sight to behold. They might even start hugging your legs. But a warning. They hate the sound of the violin. Make sure the music you play them contains absolutely no violin at all. A man was once playing them music and unbeknownst to him there was a sudden violin solo in the concert. Like the carrot woman, he was also dragged into a den a never emerged. Nobody knows what happened to him, but it is believed that it was something bad.

And oh, one last warning. Never, ever, ever, ever under any circumstances take a photo of a huggy bunny. They HATE having photos taken of themselves. You will get bitten for sure.

Gramsters

Gramsters are like a hamsters, but better.
They are more intelligent, more cuddly, and can read.

Gramsters are found all over the Moremi Forest. They are communal and solitary. Some live in huge underground colonies, others prefer the solo life. If you walk quietly through the trees, you can often see them sitting up their reading their little books.

Gramster books are published by Calder-Kuncklebaum.

Shereena Ask Lonka Lonka has a gramster called John-Winston.
When he was young, Humperdermus Ibis had a gramster called Jacobius.