Monday, December 4, 2017

The Adventures of Columbine Duskywing


On the trail of Giant Rainbow Snails is Columbine Duskywing, fearless freelance Malacologist for Hanover College, along the banks of the Ohio river.

Columbine is the daughter of Professor Horace S. Duskywing, head of the department of Invertebrate Studies at Hanover, an eminent Lepidopterist, and in 1869 elected chairman of the Society of Kentucky Lepidopterists.

Columbine's mother is the Lady Acadia Hairstreak, a woman of wealth and a notorious social butterfly of the lower Ohio river.  A longstanding question among the society of the Ohio river is how the dusty Professor Duskywing ever managed to beguile the lovely  Lady Acadia to be his bride.  Maybe Columbine being a seven month child had something to do with it...

Not having strong maternal instincts,  Lady Acadia left most of the childrearing to her husband;  a gentle academic with a vague fondness for this unexpected daughter.  He provided few rules of behavior, a shocking oversight in Victorian society.  He expected obedience, respect, and curiosity; he gave affection, and unlimited use of the university libraries.

From an early age, Columbine could be found sitting, crosslegged as often as not, on the dusty floor of the library, nose buried in some book of natural history or exploration.  Marco Polo! Amerigo VespucciJames Cook! Charles Darwin! Great stories of discovery, but no women.

Dust motes shimmered in the pale light of the one window in the library, but Columbine did not see them dancing.  No women.  Couldn't women discover a continent, or a new species, or sail around the world?  There was Ida Laura Pfeiffer, the Austrian woman who had traveled (twice!) around the world, documenting plants, minerals, and mollusks as she traveled, but no other woman on these library shelves.

What might she discover, Columbine mused.  The Giant Rat of Sumatra, Kraken of the Arctic ocean, Blue Mountains Panthers in the Australian Blue mountains?  Maybe the famed Rainbow Snails of Yellowwood Forest...

Quite unexpectedly, Columbine's mother realized that at 18, Columbine was quite a lovely girl, in spite of her shockingly unconventional behavior.  The only interest that Lady Acadia ever bestowed on her offspring was to plan her coming out season and ball, much to Columbine's dismay.  Columbine simply could not bear to be squeezed into a corset, and paraded to polite society like a prize broodmare.  Ugh!

So quietly, on a clear but moonless night, Columbine packed a small rucksack with her precious books on invertebrate zoology, journal, magnifiers, a spare shirt and a bar of soap, and some jewelry she would never wear.  Dressed as a laborer, she climbed out her bedroom window with the false dawn, and headed North.  Looking for Rainbow Snails and Adventure!


Looks like she found them!

Check out the links throughout the post :-)





8 comments:

  1. I love your darling creations. They are so cute. Thank you for sharing your talents with us in sharing your design in pattern form. I love your fanciful and creative stories that you share with your new designs. You should write short stories and/or childrens books. Let me know if you do. I have 17 grandchildren that would be some of your first audience as I would love to buy them for my littles. Please dont ever change. I find your blog delightful and very interesting.

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    1. Thank you for your lovely words, Joni :-)

      Merry Christmas!

      warmly,

      Beth

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  2. ¡Qué bueno!Bonita historia. También me encanta la indumentaria de aventurera y los pequeños descubrimientos.

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    1. Muchas gracias, Isabel; Me alegro de que lo hayas disfrutado:-)

      con gusto,

      Beth

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    2. What pattern is the doll made of?

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    3. Hi Christi,

      I Frankensteined (see the previous post) this doll, using elements of Eva (free from Ravelry); Jane (purchased from Etsy), and Simply Ami (free on this blog). Her outfit I made up as I went along :-)

      warmly,

      Beth

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  3. Buen relato y preciosas creaciones! No les falta detalle, se ve un trabajo minucioso.
    Besos

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    Replies
    1. Muchas gracias por sus amables palabras:-)

      con gusto,

      Beth

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