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.