Monday, June 24

How to Be a Stuffed Animal


Your didu's father was a big game hunter. Like teddy Roosevelt. In our house in Allahabad we had variety of animals mounted and framed. Tigers leopards cheetah crocodile antelope bears. for a young child, entering the drawing room in the dark was scary with the glass eyes glinting at you. 

We got some back in Bhopal, bear skins, cheetah head deer skins etc. can't complain son. It was a different time and world. Your Didu went hunting and she was a crack shot as well. I've done my share of hunting as well but it's no longer considered 'good'. So I do my hunting with a camera. 

So why do people do it? Pretty much the same reason why people go on a roller coaster. For the thrill of it. 

So it goes. 



How to Be a Stuffed Animal - Lapham’s Quarterly


The fire that destroyed P. T. Barnum’s American Museum was the spectacle to end all spectacles. It started in a basement shortly after noon on July 13, 1865, and spread with an energy befitting the museum’s restive owner. By midafternoon it had attracted an audience of thirty thousand to the corner of Broadway and Ann Street in Lower Manhattan. As the Prince of Humbugs’ palace of wonders hissed and cracked and roared under the pressure of its own combustion, so the crowd responded to the conflagration with cheers and shrieks and “uncontrollable laughter,” reported the New York Times.

Gone were the flea circus, the loom run by a dog, the trunk of a tree under which the disciples of Jesus had sat, the hat worn by Ulysses S. Grant, the waxworks, the Feejee mermaid, the taxidermy displays of “monkeys in all imaginable attitudes, stuffed and waxed and furnished with curiously wrought glass eyes, sacred white cows filled with hay, monstrous turtles varnished and stuffed, camels with humps, zebras with the traditional 365 stripes, lions with shaggy manes, and tigers with beautiful skins.” These, and tens of thousands of other curiosities and collectibles, the entire contents of Barnum’s Wunderkammer, were all incinerated.

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