August 27, 2009 Haines Fairgrounds, Haines, Alaska
Moonalice poster by Chris Shaw
According to Moonalice legend, a cruise ship was sailing up Alaska’s inside passage. The entertainment on board was a magician who had a parrot. Unfortunately for everyone, the parrot gave away every trick. “It’s up his sleeve; up his sleeve.” Or “It’s not the same rabbit, not the same rabbit.” This went on for days. As the ship approached Haines, the magician was getting more and frustrated. Then the cruise ship hit an iceberg and sank. The only survivors were the magician and his parrot. They made it to a tiny island on the Linn Canal and hung out there for two weeks without seeing a soul. For that entire time, the parrot said nothing. Not a word. Then one day the parrot shook his head and said the magician, “Okay. I give up. What did you do with the ship?”
According to Moonalice legend, the tribe has pioneered many new sciences, including cryptozoology, the study of animals that no one has ever seen. Haines is an emerging center for cryptozoology, with tribal cryptozoologists in hot pursuit of elusive creatures. On this trip, our focus has been on the arctic hippo. Little is known about the arctic hippo, except that prefers to live in streams or forests, it is nocturnal, and it spends the day disguised as a large, round boulder. We cannot confirm any sightings on this trip, but evidence of arctic hippos was everywhere. For example, yesterday there was a cruise ship in Haines. Need I say more? Okay. We went to the Chilkat River last night and saw bears and salmon. Bears and salmon are known markers for the arctic hippo. Please. Keep your eyes peeled. A sighting would mean everything to us.
According to Moonalice legend, Alaska is home to the common rhino puffin, an aquatic bird that kills fish the invisible horn on its beak. Rhino puffins are gentle birds. Every creature that has met one loves the common rhino puffin. Even the fish that get eaten love the rhino puffin. Unfortunately, the common rhino puffin is threatened with extinction. The cause is not global warming or exposure to American Idol. No. The common rhino puffin is threatened by its distant relative, the jihadi rhino puffin. Jihadi rhino puffins differ from other puffins in one important respect. Each one has a few sticks of dynamite strapped to its back. They don’t even try to fish. They just dive in after the common rhino puffins . . . and then blow themselves up underwater, killing every creature within 200 yards. Beware.
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