Sunday 24 July 2011

taxidermy love ~ true love never runs smooth…

Lachlan is a large merino sheep head.

Originally I wrote about Lachlan as part of my Hollister Hovey posting, however when I discovered Hollister’s story on buying Lachlan in 2005 on myspace I decided  it was worthy of it’s own posting! Enjoy this tale of taxidermy love.

Part 1 :: Finding Lachlan

Lachlan was purchased on ebay, and like all good love affairs the beginning was full of drama and uncertainty as captured here by Hollister in her 2005 blog posting.

Hollister’s morning with ebay

 9:00 Am only bidder for white mountain goat head, stuffed in 1933 by one of the Muesum of Natural History’s top taxidermists. 56 minutes to go.

9:23 Coffee break

9:55 Still only bidder for goat head. Positively brimming with excitement and confidence.

9:55:30 Thinking I’m the only bidder, I put nose to grindstone and work on a press release.

9:55:45 Evil goat head lover swoops in and outbids me by $5.

9:56 I’m a loser.

9:57 Stomach in knots, jaw on desk.

9:58 Jaw still on desk, but brain thinking how irrational and crazy it is being.

10:30 Find sad looking goat, antelope and merino sheep head trophies I enjoy just as much. Mood restored.

11:00 Check bank account. Will have to sacrifice fancy meals/drinks or live off little sister if I win merino sheep. Consider it worth the struggle.

11:05 Check other bid status and realize that will have to live off little sister regardless if I win smaller items already bid upon.

11:15 Little sister says the sheep looks creepy, but likes the goat.

11:33 Am eaten alive with love of the sheep and still considering.

UPDATE: purchased merino sheep.

Suffered without money for roughly 10 days.

Sheep arrives at office in box large enough to hold diswasher (human or mechanical). I realize box will not fit into cab, so must unwrap new pet at work.

Patience not being a virtue I know, I rip in around 3 p.m. Box filled solidly with packing peanuts and shreaded paper (and sheep). Must dig deep to even see sheep’s nose. Co-workers look into box and scream and make Godfather references. Two somewhat supportive co-workers help lift animal out of box, leaving office in post-ticker tape parade-style mess. What ticker tape isn’t on floor is tangled into the wool of the head. Animal head, initially thought to be about the size of a small deer/german shepherd, turns out to be of T-Rex proportions.

Co-workers express deep shock, dismay and lack of understanding for passion over sheep’s head and taxidermy in general.

Part 2 :: A Sad, Sad Day ~ Lachlan died today.

Excerpt from Hollister Hovey

Porter and I have been struggling with a moth invasion for six months. Bags and bags of wool clothes have hit the trash. The salvaged wool pieces hang in ugly plastic bags in our closets. It’s been terrible. And gross. But we thought it over.  Then, last weekend, we took Lachlan, the merino sheep, off his wall. How we didn’t think that moths that munch on spun, died wool might enjoy unspun, natural wool just as much is beyond me. Frankly, they love it. They cannot get enough. They devoured the entire top of his head. They ruined him. 

We’d had a couple deer (Denver and Michael Gregory) – but Lachlan was the majestic creature that sparked our taxidermy spree. Without Lachlan, there probably wouldn’t be Daedalus or Icarus (the swans) or Mandela (the nyala) or even Cormack (the highland bull). Would the apartment have ever made it into The New York Times or ELLE Decoration? I don’t think so. It was all Lachlan.

 We tried to salvage him from the devastation, but it was beyond repair (and we both were on the cusp of asphyxiation by moth ball). So, this morning, I grabbed him by his plastic-wrapped horns and put him in the dumpster. Thank goodness he was covered and I didn’t have to look him in the glass eye. We’ll have remember him through the photos.

Goodbye, sweet Lachlan, goodbye. 

 

 

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