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Quippet the Shaman’s Apprentice

Quippet didn’t want to be a shaman.

He didn’t like shamany things. Incense set off his asthma. He wasn’t good at chanting. Fasting made him feel hungry, not enlightened. And the Spotted Mushroom Drink made him throw up, and one time he’d been out getting it and gotten between some reindeer and the mushrooms and…well…it was ugly. He’d needed a whole lot of stitches. Reindeer are hardcore.

The problem was that he heard voices.

Crazy-Wool, the tribe’s shaman, told him that the spirits were tormenting him and his only choice was to become initiated as a shaman, go into the spirit world, and battle them into submission. “The spirits must be bent to your will!” bleated Crazy-Wool, his breath reeking of the Spotted Mushroom Drink. “They will drive you down into madness unless you have the strength to resist their wickedness!”

“Uh-huh,” said Quippet, trying not to cough.

The elder shaman told him, sometimes two or three times a day, how vital it was that he stand strong against the influence of the spirit-voices, that he refuse to listen to their wiles, and that if they ever told him to do anything, he was to come to Crazy-Wool immediately.

Quippet always agreed—and felt guilty—and went to go alphabetize the magic rocks.

Truth was, the spirit voices told him to do things all the time.

They said “It’s snowing out, you better wear a hat or you’ll catch your death.”

They said “You should have a hot cup of tea and everything’ll look better in the morning.”

They said “You try to have a nice day now, Quippet.”

They said “You’re a good sheep, Quippet, you keep your chin up and watch out for those nasty reindeer.”

And every year on his birthday, they all sang a rousing chorus of “For He’s A Jolly Good Sheep” and took turns telling him how much they valued his friendship and how proud they were of all he’d accomplished. One of the voices even composed a small poem in his honor. (It wasn’t a terribly good poem, but all the voices cheered anyway and Quippet had been very moved and a little confused.)

He didn’t want to go into the spirit world and battle them. He was horribly afraid that if he tried, he’d come back out with a cup of tea and a small note saying that everyone loved him very much and wanted him to be happy.

It was all very worrisome.





Poor Quippet is 15 inches long, 6 inches wide, and 5 inches tall. I am pleased with the design of the front end, but his tail doesn’t look as tail-like as I’d wish, so I may go back to a more rounded butt on the next one. I was pretty happy with his full-body dreads, though.

His face is cast plastic resin, his feet are Super Sculpey, the fur is…err…fur…and he’ll be on e-bay tomorrow.

Originally published at Tea with the Squash God. You can comment here or there.


Awwwwww ....

I _love_ his voices from the spirit world.

...You just channeled Terry Pratchett. Whoa.

Oh my god I just had a mental image of Ursula taking over Discworld duties. I...I may need to go lie down.

The puppet is a little disturbing, but the idea of _supportive_ voices is priceless!

Is it? I couldn't get by without mine.

...can I borrow Quippet's voices for a while? They sound so much nicer than my own.

And mine! Mine are starting to sound disturbingly familiar to my in-laws. *twitch*

Oh man that last paragraph... I now have half eaten banana everywhere.

Poor Quippet, he needs to come chat with the shaman in my house. Haji will even get him a cup of tea.

Edited at 2013-03-11 11:08 pm (UTC)

You just keep listening, Quippet. Those voices are making a lot more sense than Crazy-Wool.

Hard-core reindeer. Snort.

Edited at 2013-03-11 11:34 pm (UTC)

Reindeer are hardcore. I know someone who has the scars to prove it. [just for the love of Mike, don't ask him to show you, because he will!]

Quippit's voices make so much more sense than mine do!

Pssst. Ganesh is taking a nap right behind him!

Maybe the voices and Quippet could strike a deal, and they could send him back with a note saying he had battled very nicely and they were now all thoroughly chastened and thank you very much, so sorry for all of the tormenting, here is a nice cup of tea for a peace offering...

My Husband's comment (after coming to see why I was giggling like a hatter) was: Oh Dear Lord. That woman Just. Ain't. Right. Which made me laugh all the harder.

Which is crazy. She is much righter than the real world.

I have GOT to get me some voices like that!

Tea is much nicer than Mushroom drink.

I don't know how you can bear to part with them.

Is there going to be a whole flock of shamanic sheep.

(I'm wondering if we are going to have a Wolf in Shamanic sheep's clothing at some point?)

I'd love to be able to adopt one of these guys, but they shoot up WAY too fast when you put them on eBay.

They are well worth the price they go for though.

At least I get to see the pictures.

I find it interesting that you haven't been writing up long descriptions for your paintings, but you've started it up again with these guys. I seem to recall you saying before that it was happening because you were occupied writing actual prose things and the need to explain your visual art didn't feel quite so pressing. Have you hit a place between writing projects and the words are building up again, or is there something else going on?

Hmm. I don't think it's that I'm between writing projects, so much as that these are individual characters who clearly have stories of their own. I might feel the need to do the same if I were drawing character portraits more, but I tend to have whole scenes that could go any number of ways, if that makes any sense.

Awww, I really want to know more about these guys now. Quippet is a protagonist if ever I saw one.
Seriously, there's a book in the making here, that incredible agent of yours will probably start pestering you about it any minute now.

This. I love these little character descriptions and more of the story would be awesome :)

I like the voices in his head. It might not be so horrid if they came to visit :)