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An embarrassment of mustelids


We visited Wildwood Trust today, an animal sanctuary outside Canterbury. Not the best in some ways, but the staff is friendly and it’s awfully heavy on mustelids, so we like it. Stoats, weasels, badgers, otters, pine martens, pole cats. One elderly graying mink, who slept splayed out on top of his cage box like he didn’t give a shit, which he didn’t.

I saw my first real, live stoat here. His name was Socrates (“Soccy” to his friends) and he came out and did the weasel dance for us that day and everything. It’s one of those golden weasel memories. We went back to visit Soccy many times.

Of actual weasels, we saw hide nor hair. Not that day, nor any other. (Well, they’re all weasels to me. Brits call regular sized weasels “stoats,” and only the little teeny ones “weasels”). Anyway, the teeny ones always hid from us, even at feeding time (now with extra bunny asses!).

Today, Soccy’s cage was full of weasels! Well, two. Curled up in a happy sleepy funtime weaselball behind the glass wall of the hidden lair.

Get the size of these guys! Fully grown, they aren’t much bigger than mice. This little vicious killer dude could curl up and nap in a teacup.

Soccy, alas, has gone on to that great Weaselheim in the sky. We asked.

Got some great pictures of the lynxes (which are new, I think) and the wolves, who howled for us prettily when an ambulance went by. And the harvest mouse (surely, they must be on the sixth or seventh harvest mouse by now). The Scottish wild cats have had themselves an adorable vicious psycho killer kitten (beautiful and famously untameable, those things. They look like big stripey housecats and think like Ted Bundy). I started to post more pictures, but this blog isn’t a particularly good gallery.

Anyhow — farewell, Soccy! I lift my glass of…whatever the hell this is I’m drinking.

He was a stoat. The very stoat. The stoatiest of stoats.


Comment from mesablue
Time: May 26, 2007, 3:40 am

No late night walks in the stoat fields?

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: May 26, 2007, 3:27 pm

I. Will. Resist.

No, I won’t.

How many Leporidae derrieres can a li’l weasel eat in one (heh) sitting?

The value of this bit of trivia will be beyond price in the near-future, I kid you not. Christ, I love this site!

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: May 26, 2007, 5:27 pm

I…I…I don’t know! We always got there in the afternoon, just at feeding time, and the stoats each were given one bunny ass. Stoats and pine martens like to eat high, so they stuck a bunny ass on a stick up in the air for them.

Yesterday, though, it was baby chick on the menu. The weasels had one each. The only surviving stoat (Slinky) wouldn’t come out for us, but it looked like he had dragged one chick into his nest.

Whether they have a morning feeding, I do not know. I assume so…high-revving metabolisms and all.

Comment from whitishrabbit
Time: May 26, 2007, 5:44 pm

Shocked. Shocked I tell you. All this talk of bunny mutilation…

Wow, it woulda been cool to see a wolf picture.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: May 26, 2007, 6:16 pm

Your wish, etcetera:

Marred by the chain link fence, I’m afraid. One of the flaws of this wildlife park: there are glass viewing ports in some places, and you can look over the walls in others, but a lot of the animals are surrounded by wire mesh. Including the woats and steasels.

This girl has a sad air, not to anthropomorphize overmuch. She and her brother were ill when they first came to the park and were separated from the others to recover. They were subsequently rejected by the pack and are kept separately.

The wolves are especially well housed, though. Their enclosure is huge. When an ambulance went by, the whole lot treated us to an especially fine and chilling chorus. Took me right back to the Carpathians, that did.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: May 26, 2007, 9:11 pm

I’m gonna assume 2 bunny butts per weasel, per day. Good data.

Bunny butt on a stick? Like…a butt-sicle? They feed stoats buttsicles sticking up in the air? Like some kind of annal totum? Eew.

Thank you Wabbit for the wolf thought. That is a neato photo, even with the fence. I think she’s crooning sadly because her last meal was missing its’ butt.

Comment from blanco lagomorph
Time: May 27, 2007, 2:47 pm

Sweet. Yeah, the link fence,…that’s a bittersweet photo. Their feet are so… wolf. That sound, the wolf howl, is an augmented fourth. It’s a sound that’s sorta become the human embodiment of yearning in classical music. I’ve read that no one sang the augmented fourth in Christian medieval Europe… it was referred to as ‘diabolus in musica’, the devil’s chord, in some early texts. Rumor had it the augmented fourth was so powerful it could drag you to hell.

I think a wolf’s howl could just as likely send the soul in the other direction.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: May 27, 2007, 3:47 pm

Ah, ‘the devil’s interval’ – banned by the Church in the Middle Ages and used by Wagner in Gotterdammerung, by Jimi Hendrix in Purple Haze, and Black Sabbath in, err, Black Sabbath…

Sadly, it also makes a guest appearance in Maria from West Side Story and in the Simpson’s theme.


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: May 27, 2007, 4:11 pm

Huh. Outclassed by my own minions. I think it’s time to drag this conversation back down to Weasel’s level. Don’t remember how I found myself here today, but I give you unpleasant.org and Arthur Fiedler’s disco version of Night on Bald Mountain.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: May 27, 2007, 6:10 pm

Hell, Weasel, I’m always here to lend a helping hand. I’ll assist you (whisper: while you fix the link). I think I like Rimsky-K’s arrangement better. But I have no taste.

Hey! Is the “Devil’s Interval”, i.e. an augmented 4th, kinda like the “Taint” region?

Wabbit: Your comment was the first time in (censored) decades I’ve seen the phrase “‘diabolus in musica’”. God, I love this site!

I wonder why Moussorgski’s stuff was always “arranged” by someone else, e.g. Raval or Rimsky-Kawasaki (or whatever)? Was he a poor housekeeper? I know he was modest. Hee-hee.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: May 27, 2007, 6:30 pm

Poor ol’ Mussorgsky – just a few too many Bellinis.

Some say that he was doing ok (just)in the hospital where he was (more or less) kept away from The Stuff… until a well-meaning friend took pity on him and smuggled in a bottle.

Died of being Russian, you might say.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: May 27, 2007, 6:36 pm

Huh. Don’t know what’s wrong with that link. The URL is correct. I guess it won’t let you link directly. Anyhoo…go to unpleasant.org and scroll down. It’ll be worth it. snigger.

Mussorgsky. I had a friend in college who swore she had an orgasm every time she heard the high point of the orchestral version of the Great Gate of Kiev. Cheap date, Linda.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: May 27, 2007, 7:18 pm

Ahh…Pictures at an Exhibition.

PatanE was the first and most memorable classical piece I ever listened to – in 4th grade, no less. I went home after school that day and – lo! and behold! – Dad had it on LP (that’s VINYL to you kids out there). Dad was stunned when he arrived home from work and found me sitting in front of the stereo (mono, actually!) listening to it for the 3rd time in utter rapture. I then started to “tell him the story” I’d been taught about the piece in school, but he got up and left the room. Many, many years later, he told be he’d gone into the other room to weep uncontrollably – he was so delighted at my “discovery”.

It was the piece that first told me “classical ain’t bad at all”. That message has lived with me all my life.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: May 28, 2007, 6:14 am

Shoot, McGoo. That was sweet.

My dad told me when I grew up, my tastes would shift from symphonies and overtures and exciting shit like that to opera. Still haven’t grown up, I guess.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: May 28, 2007, 7:01 am

I’d been told that, too. But I still feel that most opera is so much screeching and eye-rolling. I’d rather listen to two cats yowling.

BTW: I must ask (quietly), when are you flying back? I still have to clean the blood and organic residue off the sacrificial altar and go kidnap another harp seal hunter for the protect-all-weasels-while-flying ceremony. Busy, busy.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: May 28, 2007, 7:14 am

Meh. Tomorrow night. AND I have to work Wednesday. We’re just shuffling around the flat now, collecting bottles for the recycle bin. Terrifying.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: May 28, 2007, 8:24 am

Nobody can blame you for wanting to stay until the last minute. Travel safely.

Comment from whitishrabbit
Time: May 28, 2007, 3:39 pm

The Aleuts are dreaming up a ‘protect-all-harp-seal-hunters-from-harm’ ceremony to counteract your rather grisly ‘protect-all-weasels-while-flying’ ceremony.

I think making folk-art out of his knuckle-bones, and selling it on e-bay after the ceremony may have been construed as insensitive.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: May 28, 2007, 4:58 pm

Their ceremony-fu is weak.

But they’ll be glad to know the harp seal hunters are safe this time. I went to New Bedford and found a 3rd class speargunner’s mate who fell off one of those japanese “research” whalers while taking a wee over the railing. He’s here illegally and no one will miss him, so he’ll do nicely.

Comment from leeuwenhoek
Time: May 29, 2007, 4:45 pm

The Devils Interval was a perfect 3rd BTW 😉

Comment from Old Nick
Time: May 29, 2007, 6:19 pm

Less of the ‘was’ if you please.

Comment from Old Jews Telling Jokes
Time: May 9, 2013, 10:21 pm


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: May 9, 2013, 10:38 pm

Old Jews Telling Jokes was one of my favorite bits on Facebook, but I pulled the link in the sig because I didn’t recognize it and this is clearly spambot behavior.

Comment from Stoatah Weaselton-Culpeper
Time: May 9, 2013, 11:58 pm

Some spam, gud for gesheft.


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