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Mitzi Tish
3rd year


Joined: 16 Nov 2006
Posts: 660




PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2007 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Hm. The totems should be how they are, not so much what they look like in reality," Mitzi mulled as she regarded the wood, head tilting side to side.

"Raven-Claw..." hands lifted to mime claws, of course, "In visual shorthand, what are they...?"

Rummaging to produce her wand from its usual place stuck in the top of her stocking, Mitzi brandished it humorously before using it in a secondary office: to draw in the snow.

Wide eyes swept backwards, indicating a wide range of vision and keenness. Wings were foreshortened in a forward sweep, as if to cup around something, claws were open and grasping.

"Uhm... Huff'n Puff... Badger," Mitzi went on, giving round eyes and open paws to the snow-image, but a muzzle filled with bared teeth.

"Slithers-In," decidely, she added a few indicators of a wrap of serpent tail around the post, then gave narrow eyes and an open mouth, empty, in a triangular pit-viper style head. Rattlesnake, of course. Hash marks of seven rattles were under the head.

And finally...

"Griffin Door," Mitzi nodded once, giving sun-like rays around a leonine head form, round eyes, and a single clawed paw under the chin. She regarded it a moment before glancing to Martin.

"Lions are nobility here, but back home, Puma is the devil. I wonder how lion became noble here."
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Martin Miggs
3rd year


Joined: 02 Mar 2006
Posts: 595
Location: ESSB Head Quarters



PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2007 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Probably because they're big, loud, fight with other guys, and laze around while the women do the work. The perfect male specimen."

"Oh! Those look great, Mitzi!" Martin, magical efficiency forgotten, produced a carving knife and went to work copying Mitzi's Hufflepuff badger onto the base of the trunk. When it came down to the nitty-gritty Martin prefered to use more natural Muggle methods. Partly because it was the base, and perhaps taking Marmalade as her muse, she fashioned a rather chubby badger.

"The Puffs will probably enjoy the teeth." Martin observed as she wittled away between pointed wooden incizers. "It gives off a very un-Hufflepuff ferocity." Skitter II agreed, crinkled her nose to show off her fangs so that she was a miniature verison of the badger.
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Mitzi Tish
3rd year


Joined: 16 Nov 2006
Posts: 660




PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2007 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Ohh, I see," Mitzi agreed, though she gave a laugh, "But it's fun to watch a man strut around and roar, you know."

Well, it was!

"Pumas don't really roar, they scream, and it's bone chilling," she added, dropping to watch Martins work with an intent attention. The girl was, Mitzi had noted, quite deft when it wasn't remarked up. It seemed to be when she was paying too much attention that she was clumsy. So, she did not give any praise yet!

"Badgers are horribly ferocious, you know. Mainly when they're cornered or with their young or hungry. Even the most gentle soul has their point."
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Martin Miggs
3rd year


Joined: 02 Mar 2006
Posts: 595
Location: ESSB Head Quarters



PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For once, Martin was on a subject that she understood faily well, and this made her relaxed and comfortable. She hadn't made one mistake yet! While carving out the badger, Martin was reminded of another little tidbit of Japanese culture.

"The badger is a common mistranslation of the Japanese raccoon dog. The raccoon dog is one of the more popular animals in their mythology. It's a trickster like the fox and tengu, mostly creates the illusion that it's a beautiful maiden to steal food. But everyone knows that the fox is Japan's coyote...

Martin finished the badger and moved on to the snake. Mitzi's description of narrowed eyes and barred fangs was evil-looking enough in itself, but Martin couldn't help unconsciously giving it an even more menacing expression. The corners of the mouth curled upwards in a sinister grin and a forked tongue lolled out of its open mouth. "Snakes on the other hand mean the same thing in every culture."
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Mitzi Tish
3rd year


Joined: 16 Nov 2006
Posts: 660




PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 5:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Rattler's are nasty," she agreed, a ghoulish scrunching of her features to watch Martins work intently, "The Uktena is the great serpent of Cherokee, who lives in the mountains. It has spots of color along its body, it's horned, it's as large around as a tree trunk. Once, it had a jewel embedded in its forehead called the Ulunsuti. It has the power to destroy all men love, but they took the Ulunsuti, and killed the Uktena."

"But Rattlesnake is a good spirit, though it seems odd why. Rattlesnake struck and killed the daughter of the sun," she went on thoughtfully, squinting up at the sun briefly, "The sun was jealous of the moon, and became so angered, she decided to kill all the people on earth. So she spread her glory and blazed down."

Of course, she lifted her hands for this tale, her usual sign for sun with the 'rays', her fingers, bent downwards and raking.

"Sun stopped at her daughters house, and the people knew it was the only time to stop her. The wise ones created Rattlesnake, and sent him to stop Sun. Rattlesnake went into the daughters house and struck her, and she died. Sun was so distraught, she ceased her attacks."

A slither of right hand, left held before her elbow: Rattlesnake. The hand as a biting mouth was self-explaining.

"So the people pray for the rattlesnake and try not to harm him, because if you leave it be, it will leave you be. --But when they show up on campus back home, you run them over if there's no kids, because I've been bit by them before, and it hurts!"
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Martin Miggs
3rd year


Joined: 02 Mar 2006
Posts: 595
Location: ESSB Head Quarters



PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 4:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Martin stopped to watch Mitzi while she mimicked the events with signs and gestures. It wasn't difficult for Martin to imagine her as the wise story teller of an Indian tribe teaching the children about how the world was made and why things are the way that are.

"So the rattlesnake turned out to be mankind's savior? That's a twist I've never heard before. But I kinda like it. It's redeeming almost." Martin began to copy Mitzi's version of the lion onto the pole. "I hope that more than a couple Slitherins turn out to be rattlesnakes instead of asps."

"That sounds a lot like Amaterasu and Tsukiyomi. Amaterasu the sun goddess and her little brother Tsukiyomi the moon god didn't get along so well, and that's why, the elders say, that the sun and moon are in different parts of the sky, so that they don't have to look at one another. But she wasn't about to kill anyone over it."

Martin completed the head and mane with one curled paw beneath it's chin and noticed a resemblance to the sun's rays. She decided to carve the other paw pushing down on the serpent's triangular head. "This rattlesnake won't be doing any harm to the sun as far's I'm concerned."
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Mitzi Tish
3rd year


Joined: 16 Nov 2006
Posts: 660




PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"In the rest of the story, all the venomous snakes they knew were made first, including Asp, but Asp got so freaked out, all he could do was spit at the daughter of the sun. So to this day, that is all he does. Spitting asp," Mitzi snickered, nodding. Most of the tales were much abbreviated, they were day long lessons, indeed.

"The wise serpent knows better than to show itself at midday, for the hawk is swift and thinks he is delicious," she added, approving to the movement of the paw, "Lion reminds Snake of this."

Because Raven was on the top of the totem!
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Martin Miggs
3rd year


Joined: 02 Mar 2006
Posts: 595
Location: ESSB Head Quarters



PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 1:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Heh, that's fitting." Martin mused. "Can't recall how many times I've been jeered at by Slytherins for being Muggleborn. 'Bout all they can do. There's no way they can do what they'd really like to do to me. None of them have the backbone-" she stabbed the knife into the saw horse as if to indicated what she'd like to do to them if they tried anything serious.

She stared challenging into the cruel narrowed eyes of the serpent. "Ya know, I don't understand it. It's a pointless endeavor, even they must know that. And I don't mean that it's impossible to carry out, but it's just -- pointless." It's not something you can truly believe in, something you can back with full conviction. They just want someone to walk all over, to make them feel important, that their stupid Pure-Blood titles still mean something. I mean, people can't really believe that a person with magic is worth more than one without, right?" She spoke to the snake as if trying to impart some reason to it and stop it from glaring at her with those hateful eyes.

((Sorry, I disappeared again! -_-'))
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