Thirteen Stuffed Animals in The Czarina's Basement
My dad had a rather unusual hobby. He collected stuffed animals. And I don't mean the plush toy kind. I'm referring to formerly-alive stuffed animals. The taxidermy kind. They are on display in my mom's house, if you ever stop by.
1. A pirahna that looks JUST like this one.
2. An albino squirrel (His name is Nutsy. If you saw his...uh, junk, you would know why. This albino squirrel pictured here is not nearly as blessed.)
3. A snapping turtle (he has a cigar in his mouth)
4. A black bear (standing on his hind legs, so he's at least 6-7 feet tall. He scares everyone who sees it. His outfit changes periodically. Last time I saw him, he had on a Winnie-the-Pooh tie.).
5. A screech owl, which was extracted from the front grill of his truck after he accidentally hit it when driving one night. The taxidermist had to re-assemble it. Apparently the reddish-colored feathers were seasonal, and therefore, rare. Dad thought this was really cool. We thought it was disgusting. These are the owls that sound like they are screaming, "Help!" -- I bet that was this owl's last word.
6. A mole. Ours is standing on his hind legs, holding a shovel. He's also wearing a mining helmet. My dad had a sense of humor. It was a gift for Czarina, if you can believe that. "Mole" is actually one of her nicknames. Long story.
7. A mongoose, entwined with a cobra, kind of like in this picture. (If I remember, Dad had to fly from Taiwan to the U.S. with this thing on his lap the whole time. Aren't you glad you didn't have to sit next to this guy for that 20-plus hour flight?)
8. A woodpecker.
9. A crow.
10. A gazelle. Or is it an antelope? (head only.)
11. A red fox (head only. But we put a red ribbon on its ear every year at Christmas.)
12. Some other antelope-looking animal (again, head only)
13. A warthog (My dad discovered eBay late in life. Soon after this purchase arrived, he was immediatly and permanently banned from using the site.)
I'm thinking I will use these as centerpieces on the tables at my wedding reception one day. Cool idea, huh?