My vintage shop hauls this week included an amber silver ring, Sterling silver cowboy hat ring, and a knight jousting tent made in Germany, so I figured I'd better haul myself back there first thing this morning in case there might be something else worth rescuing. Lo and behold there was a display of strange animals with curved horns, and as I examined them I noticed a man in a beaded jacket was looking pretty excited about them.
"There are many species of these in the world," he picked one up, "but only one here, and they only have the male. I'm looking for a female." The beads on his jacket included glass beads in the shape of a wolf, pieces of chainmail, red and yellow sunbursts, and purple, green and blue soda can pop tops.
"What kind of animal is it?"
"It is an oryx."
Margaret Atwood came to mind. "I'd better buy one," I said, "saying as they're only 25 cents. Did you bead your jacket?"
"Do you mind if I touch it?"
"Go ahead." He rummaged in his packsack for oryx money while I looked at pieces of glass and bone and metal, all handsewn. In his sack I saw a half-beaded animal with the needle and thread still in it.
"Is that sewn on felt?"
"It's sewn onto a bit of carpet I found on the street. It's a boar, half wild boar, half pig."
When we got to the cashier with our oryxes I was still looking at details on the jacket. I couldn't resist touching each new thing I discovered. "Do you mind my mauling you?"
"No," he said. He moved his knapsack strap aside so I saw a thin brown bone that had hidden under it. "Do you know what this is?" The bone was curved and about two inches long.
"It's a raccoon penis bone. But I don't kill animals to get their bones. This was a raccoon hit by a car up on Mont Royal. He had a pile of bones just waiting for me to take them home and make something out of them."