For visually challenged writers, the image shows a cardboard box full of various (animal?) skulls
image by KL Caley
It was laughably easy, Dahlia thought, to convince the others that Great-Aunt Mercury held to all sorts of insane theories.
“Towards the end,” Dahlia would say, shaking her head sadly, “Merc took to wearing a tin-foil helmet at night. She was sure the government was extracting her dreams, and substituting nightmares.”
“Then, of course, she rejected the vaxx – ‘Microchips implanted to turn me Commie!’ Merc would harangue,” she sighed.
The others tut-tutted, and praised her for being the old nutbar’s companion and caregiver despite the insanity.
As a result, no one questioned the will, bizarre was it was. Each relative being given a well-polished animal bone: Manifred got a skull; Juliana, a bit of jaw; Tutlio several pieces of antler. And so on.
“Please,” Dahlia said at the reading where these mementos of Great-Aunt Mercury’s life were distributed. “Let me take these off your hands. As Mercury so generously supported the natural history museum over the years, perhaps they will display them in her honour.”
Everyone agreed, placing the bones back in the cardboard box. She smiled as she cleaned up the mess of glasses, napkins, small plates of picked at canapes. “Fools! This box is worth millions!”
Dahlia now possessed all the bones necessary to prove Merc’s favourite theory, the existence of mythical beasts. In this case, of the jackalope.
Mounted for KL Caley’s #writephoto — skulls. What do you think the box contains? Why not “hunt” up and “mount” an answer?
I’ve seen a jackalope – at Wall Drugs, a notorious tourist trap in South Dakota. (Link takes you to their jackalope merchandise page) Wikipedia suggests the jackrabbit and antelope “hybrid” was a joke, started by the hunter/taxidermy Herrick brothers in Douglas, Wyoming in the 1930s. Returning from a hunting trip, Douglas tossed a jackrabbit carcass on the floor. It landed next to some antlers, and the jackalope was born. The idea caught on; the jackalope became the “symbol” of the west in states such as Colorado, Wyoming, and South Dakota. Jackalope mounts were sold across the country through Cabela’s sporting goods stores. (Not anymore; I checked, lol)
And, like any mythical creature, it needs a good backstory. Jackalopes only mate during thunderstorms; jackalope milk has medicinal qualities; jackalopes have wonderful tenor voices and enjoy singing cowboy tunes; jackalopes are dangerous, taken to goring the legs of hunters, and so on.
Go to Youtube and enjoy a Pixar short from 2003, “Boundin” which features, you guessed it, a jackalope. Can’t upload the video as “playback on other websites has been disabled by the video owner” Just type in Pixar and Boundin or follow my link. It’s short and well-worth the time investment.
a previous post which included jackalope reference: