Curious Creatures Backstories
01 Creepy Caterpillar (Female)
In the mountains on the outskirts of Geneva, Switzerland there was a mother Eliza who loved to work in her garden. She used to go out back and tend her flowers, vegetables and berry bushes. Her little girl Belinda was out playing in the garden one fine day when she spotted upon the branch of a small tree this weird green thing with purple spots. She screamed! When she calmed down enough to have a closer look she saw that it was a creepy caterpillar! What she didn’t know though was that this same creepy caterpillar (whose name is Clarice by the way) was actually one of the most delightful creatures ever. Even though caterpillars may appear slightly creepy to humans this caterpillar has a delightful sense of humor and is also very friendly. She would always offer leaves and other small treats to other insects. She spends her days crawling up and down branches and leaves in the garden, however she has no idea that she is soon about to crawl into a cocoon and undergo a drastic and life-changing transformation to everyone’s delight.
02 Beautiful Butterfly (Female)
One day Clarice the Creepy Caterpillar was getting a little tired as she was climbing higher and higher up her favorite tree. She found a safe and isolated spot at the top of the tree where nobody could see her. There she stopped to take a long nap. She fell asleep and had the most unusual and magnificent dream. She was being covered by a small little house. What she didn’t realize was that her body was forming a cocoon around her to protect herself as her body transformed. And in the dream she began to have a very unique sensation. She thought to herself, “This is strange, I no longer feel like a caterpillar. Am I dying? Have I become a ghost??” She suddenly had a deep realization that she was actually still quite alive and then she had a burst of fresh energy. She thought to herself, “Wait, my body feels different now all of a sudden! I wonder what I can do with it now…” . Then one day as if waking from a dream, she started stretching as most creatures do when they wake up in the morning. Only this time she kept stretching, stretching, stretching until…pop! The world became bright again! And without even thinking she jumped off the tree branch as if from some deep instinct. But even though her whole life was spent crawling around slowly, now as if by magic, she was flying!!! She had become a Beautiful Butterfly! Now as she flew around the garden the little girl spotted her and said “Oh Mommy, look at that beautiful butterfly! I want to give her a name. Can I name her after myself Mommy?” The little girl’s mother responded without a moment’s hesitation, “Why sure my dear, let’s call her Belinda the Beautiful Butterfly!”
03 Silly Seal (Female)
Off the east coast of Florida there are some water parks. There is one in which a very special seal does a wonderful show. This particular seal is very talented and can perform many amazing tricks that delight every audience she ever performed in front of. She was especially gifted when it came to maneuvering a beach ball. There is nothing she loves more than to make people happy. Her name is Samantha and because her tricks and playfulness always make people laugh, she became known as Samantha the Silly Seal. She is a master of suspense and she loves to make people watch and wait while she builds anticipation for her next trick. Without fail, after she delivers a swift and excellent performance, everyone cheers with delight. Sometimes she will hit the ball with her nose up into the air, catch it right back on her nose and then look around at the crowd slowly making everyone watch and wait in anticipation. Once she has created the right amount of suspense she’ll suddenly throw the ball up again and then hit it with her flipper all the way across the pool right into a basketball hoop! As the audience erupts with cheering she dives into the water and pops out at different places all along the pool to greet the people with a wave and a gleeful bark as if she’s saying “Thank you, thank you very much!” People love her so much and she has such an amazing reputation that people come from all over Florida as well as Mississippi, Georgia and Louisiana to see Samantha the Silly Seal.
04 Totally Awesome Toad (Male)
There is a swamp in Southern Louisiana surrounded by a lot of old mangrove trees and filled with murky water. There are lots of lily pads and a lot of life. At night when the moon comes out and the stars are shining, the still water of the swamp reflects the night sky so that it looks like there are two skies! In this fertile and glittering environment there live many interesting creatures not least of all a very curious toad (an unusual place for a toad to live!). There are crickets that play the fiddle, snakes that sing and frogs that hop from lily pad to lily pad playing their favorite game “Leap Frog”. Now some creatures of the swamp tend to just group all the slimy hopping critters together as “frogs” especially since toads often don’t like to live in swamps. For toads this can be very annoying! All toads know that frogs and toads are as different as tangerines and mandarins! For one particular wandering toad named Terry, this is particularly irksome. Terry is the type of guy who just likes to do as he pleases all the while minding his own business and respecting all other creatures. He surfs, skis, skateboards, and even plays games of Leap Frog with other frogs. So, even though some of the more ignorant creatures of the swamp just assume he’s a frog, due to his unique nature he has come to be known by the younger creatures in the swamp community as Terry the Totally Awesome Toad!
05 Functional Fox (Male)
There’s a town in the middle of the Black Forest in Germany that’s run completely by forest creatures. In one particular office there works a fox by the name of Frederick. Unlike other foxes who like to run, hunt, and play sneaky tricks on other creatures in the wild, Frederick is completely different. His talents are organizing, filing and using spreadsheets. His favorite computer programs are word and spreadsheet programs! Now some people think he is a bit boring and perhaps too organized. He does wear glasses sometimes when he is reading. He keeps a very tidy and efficient office. Rather than getting upset or acting rude whenever the other workers in the office make a mess, Frederick the Fox sighs and puts his nose up in the air thinking “These poor animals, they’ll never learn will they!”. However, despite his arrogance and obsessive tidiness, the other animals in the office and the community really like Frederick because he is actually quite helpful and someone who can “run a tight ship” as it were. For all his character traits he earned himself the name of Frederick the Functional Fox.
06 Dizzy Dragonfly (Male)
Daisuke is a dragonfly that lives in a rice field in Takarazuka, Japan. Basically he spent most of his younger days in the library reading like crazy. From all of the countless hours he spent reading he actually developed a vision problem. This affects the way he flies. Sometimes when he starts to make a turn he cannot tell whether he is going left or right. This often results in him spinning in circles as he is trying to get where he is going. Because of this some of the other creatures have referred to him as Daisuke the Dizzy Dragonfly not out of a mean spirit but simply to be able to describe him quickly in a way that other people understand, however he doesn’t really appreciate the nick name. He thinks it’s rude. Fortunately he has a very good friend named Saki the Sparrow who often offers Daisuke a ride on her back to help him get where he is going. Daisuke the Dizzy Dragonfly also has a wonderful dragonfly family who always support him and who are currently raising the money to buy him a pair of super special glasses that everyone hopes will cure his dizziness. Then he’ll have to get a new nick name!
07 Obvious Octopus (Male)
In the semi-shallow parts of the Pacific Ocean somewhere off the coast of Easter Island, there lives a village of octopuses (which is very unusual since octopuses tend to live alone!). In this octopus village called OckTown there are roads, schools, houses and even strange little vehicles to get around (even though it’s completely unnecessary since octopuses are such good swimmers). There is a student at the local Inkwell High School who is a bit different from all of the other students. His name is Olly the Octopus. He watches a lot of YouTube videos and has come to really idolize some of his favorite YouTubers. As he has quite an imagination, he has really begun to fancy himself as a human being. Some of his favorite Vloggers walk around wearing funky-looking neckties and listening to music on their headphones. So he has adopted this as his own fashion statement. It can be funny when he enters school trying to walk on two of his eight tentacles (like legs) instead of swimming. His classmates don’t mind his silly behavior but they can’t help but laugh and call him Olly the Obvious Octopus.
08 Monkey Mohawk (Female)
There was a woman who lived in the East Village of Manhattan in the mid-1990’s named Raven who was a tremendous fan of punk rock. She worked at Tower Records on Broadway. she had lots of tattoos and piercings (even in her nose) and she went to all the punk rock shows around the city on most nights of the week. One day while walking through Washington Square Park, she heard a rustle from the bushes. As she approached, she discovered a cute little monkey baby that could not have been much more than 1 year old, which must have escaped from the Central Park Zoo and by some amazing twist of fate managed to travel safely and unnoticed as far south as the West Village. She loved animals and decided that she had to save this monkey. Raven took her home and before long the baby monkey turned into her pet and then her best friend. She named the monkey Monique. And since Raven herself wore a mohawk in true punk rock fashion, as Monique the monkey grew up she began to imitate her owner in many ways including fixing her own hair up in a mohawk style while Raven was not at home. When Raven brought Monique out to the rock clubs all the other party animals loved seeing this funny monkey wearing the “Monkey Mohawk“ (which later became its own fashion trend but that’s another story altogether).
When Monkey Mohawk Monique became a teenager she was beginning to get too big too keep as a pet in a tiny East Village apartment so with a heavy heart, Raven and Monique travelled to a forest in Brazil where Monique could enter the wild. Some people had advised against releasing her into the wild because she did not “come from the wild” but those people never lived through the New York City punk rock scene in the 1990’s so they didn’t know that she was wild enough! Once she got to the forest she quickly felt at home. She brought a boom box and a lifetime supply of her favorite punk cassette tapes. She would swing from vine to vine imitating one of her favorite movie characters Tarzan. And to keep herself company before she had any new forest friends and also as a way to frighten the local monkeys into not messing with her she used to walk around the forest howling her favorite punk songs. It worked, before long Monkey Mohawk Monique was the leader of her own group of young monkey rebels who were not happy with their own parents’ conservative and overly traditional ways! Pretty soon they formed the first all-monkey punk rock band in Brazil called “As Enguias Elétricas” (The Electric Eels)!
09 Rambunctious Raccoon
Raymond the Raccoon came from a family of very sweet and calm raccoon parents who lived out in the backwoods of Pennsylvania. For some reason however this apple did indeed fall far from the tree because Raymond was not at all like his parents or his brothers and sisters. He is very rambunctious. Some people blame it on all the violent video games that he plays. Other people say it’s because his diet is too high in fat, sugar and processed foods. But since his siblings also play video games and eat a similar diet nobody knows exactly why Raymond is so different. He’s got a ton of energy, he cannot focus for long and he is usually all over the place. So he began to be known around his neighborhood as Raymond the Rambunctious Raccoon. He’s got so many interests and loves to explore new things all the time as he gets bored very quickly from one thing to the next. He is also very spontaneous. If a new interest pops up while he is in the middle of doing something, he will immediately drop what he is doing to explore the new interest that just entered his awareness. And he doesn’t mind getting a little dirty. He loves trash cans!
10 Eccentric Eel
Eugene the Eccentric Eel came from a family of American eels that were living in a river in South Carolina and as a baby he was caught in the net of a little boy named Casey. This boy, not afraid of fish, brought the baby eel home to live with him and his family. His parents were ok with it and so the eel lived in Casey’s bathtub for awhile and then when he got too big for that he was moved to a bigger tank. Eventually he became too big for the tank and had to be released back into the wild. But while he lived in the house with the little boy, he learned some mannerisms from the family. Now this was a very neat, tidy and organized family that he was living with. Casey’s mother Shirley was always vacuuming the room and could be described as “super neat”. Eugene the Eel picked up the importance of vacuuming from this tidy mother. Casey was always collecting baseball cards and also had several toy swords. In his later years when Eugene the Eel was living alone as a bachelor in a little river on the east coast of South Carolina, he began a collection of his own. He would often take trips up and down the river to add to his collections. Mainly he would search along the edge of the river up and down peeping his head above the water to see what people may have left on the edge of the river. Besides finding baseball cards and few toy swords, he also found himself a nice vacuum (discarded by a riverbank in a big town) which he brought back to his watery apartment under the river. He was very clever so he found out a way to make it work underwater - amazing! His other eel friends, who never had the chance to live on land with people, found his behavior incredibly odd and always referred to him as Eugene the Eccentric Eel.
11 Wiggly Walrus
Wally the Walrus grew up in the East Siberian Sea (just north of Russia) within the Arctic Circle. One of his favorite hobbies was to watch Sea-Creature TV because they were always showing what is going on in all parts of the sea creature world. On one particular show they were exploring barnacles along one coastal town of Australia. In the background out of the water were a couple of little girls playing with this round moving object and looking as if they were having a really good time. He learned that this was called a hula hoop. Wally the Walrus saw this when he was a child and deep in his heart grew a wonderful dream, he would become the World’s Greatest Walrus Hula Hooper!
Now it so happens that Wally had an uncle who was a very serious swimmer and who was about to embark upon a world swimming tour which would have him visiting various lands around the globe including sea ports in Australia. Wally begged his uncle, “Please Uncle Shamus, if you see a hula hoop along your journey throughout the world, won’t you bring one back for me?” So during his uncle’s 18 month journey he did indeed happen to find a hula hoop which a little girl had dropped into the ocean from a pier off the coast of Madagascar. Since the little girl’s family couldn’t retrieve it out of the water and he saw that it was likely to just go on floating there forever, he felt like this must be the hula hoop meant for his nephew Wally. So Uncle Shamus went and swam through the hoop so that it basically got stuck to his body this way he could swim the rest of his journey without worrying about losing it. Eventually Uncle Shamus made it home a couple of months later. It actually required six male Walrus working together to manage to get the hula hoop off of Uncle Shamus’ mid-section. Once they did, Uncle Shamus presented the long-awaited hula hoop to Wally.
Wally was thrilled and began to practice hula hooping non-stop from morning to night everyday. Very soon he got to be VERY good. All the local young walruses were fascinated as they watched him wiggle away. So he began teaching them and sharing both his skills and his hula hoop with them. And that’s how he earned the title of Wally the Wiggly Walrus!
12 Rabbit Raceway
On March 25th (the anniversary of Single String Songs Vol. 1) every year in the Lake District of England there is a special race. Why is there a race? Well there’s a race because every year the rabbits like to challenge themselves to get in shape right at the beginning of the spring season. Since they have all been resting for many months throughout the winter, their bodies are often quite stiff and cold so one day they simply decided that they would hold a race at the beginning of the spring season to help everyone get their energy going. It is called the “Run For Spring Race”.
Who can run in the race? Any rabbit who wants to! The thing is you just have to create a racer name for yourself. So if your name is Robbie Leaf-Eater you would have to change it to something like Robbie Racer (Rabbits love alliteration!).
Who organizes the race? The race is organized by a group of volunteers collectively known as The Lake District Dashers Club. Some rabbits keep track of each runner’s time, others hand out water and lettuce, and one calls out the rules at the beginning of the race.
What’s the prize for winning? Well the winner is acknowledged and recognized as the “Champion of the Spring Race” all year long. And the champion is asked to train the younger rabbits to strengthen themselves and improve their running to help coach the future champions of the spring race in the years to come.