Some Curious Fauna of Farnish

The Grillslug (Arionidus Farnishensus [Limax])

A large mollusk (up to 18" long) inhabiting the GLIB WOOD and BORWOOD. The flesh is poisonous to eat, but as the Grillslug subsists largely on rabbits, capturing them by lying wait in their burrows, the Islanders hold the creatures in high regard. No garden is considered complete without one, but cats and small dogs must needs be segregated from the garden Grillslug.

The Helm Snail (Helix helmus)

An extinct species of snail, once highly coveted for its shell, the circumference of which is great enough for it to be worn on the head. Old armour always included a Helm Snail helmet for ceremonial occasions, and after the last Helm Snail was killed in 1374*, Farnishite battle helms continued to be fashioned in the traditional helical shape down to the 16th century.

* The last surviving Helm Snail was found in Glen Cleft, but the Esquire of Lunge claimed that it had strayed from his lands. The famous Duel of the Helm resulted (see "The Ballad of Helmsduel")

The Red-Breasted Raven (Corvus rubella)

The Heraldic Beast of Farnish, portrayed on the Arms, Banners, Ensigns, etc. of the island.

The Thorn-Billed Egret (Ardea spicus)

An extremely rare migratory bird, nesting in Spring on the East and West Fasts. The hen lays only one egg per season, regardless of whether it is fertile or not. It has been reported, without verification, that these creatures Winter in the Land of Serendip.

[I was kind of smashed when I 'Paintbrushed' this, yet surprisingly the effect came out just the way I wanted it! But the beak should have been more orangey than greenish. --G.S.]

The Himp Rat (Mus Limpus)

The common Rat of Farnish. Characterised by a long red tail and curled yellow tusks, the Himp Rat is a carrier of Himp Fever, formerly called the Green Sweats, a disease, often fatal, in which the victim literally turns mouldy. The 5th Lord Farnisham (d. 1627) perished from this malady, as did seven of his eight children. Hugh Greenface, the Baker, is the only man known to suffer the disease chronically, as one is usually carried off quickly or recovers suddenly with a shedding of all skin, which henceforth takes on the characteristic Farnish 'blue hue'.

The Tree Pigs (Swinus arboris [Porcus])

Domiciled in GLIB WOOD. Little is known of this arboreal creature as no one (save for the Treepigg Family, traditional hunters of the beast) has ever seen one in its habitat. But I can report that they are delicious to eat.