About Me

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Washington, United States
loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Thursday, April 27, 2017

the tale of the mouse that became many others

Supposedly this tale comes from the 14th-c Tales of Count Lucanor.
In a forest of the South once lived a very holy Muni (a holy man - curator), who by extraordinary austerities had gained almost unlimited powers over nature. He was also a kind-hearted man. One day he saw a crow carrying off a little mouse. He bade the crow give it up, and reared it with grains of rice till it had grown up to full mousehood. One day, as the mouse was playing near him, it saw a cat, and in terror ran up the Muni's leg to take shelter in his bosom. 'Poor mouse,' said the Muni, 'be thou a cat.' And so it was. Puss now inspired terror, but felt none; until one day a big dog came up. Puss put up her back in horror. 'Poor pussy,' said the Muni, 'be thou a dog.' And so it was. 'Who is afraid now?' thought the dog. But one day, having seen a tiger prowling about, he came to the Muni with his tail between his legs. 'Poor dog,' said the Muni, 'be thou a tiger.' And so it was. The tiger stayed with the Muni, who thought of him only as of a pet mouse. Seeing them together, people said, 'Ah! there is the saint and the tiger that was once a little mouse.' Upon this the tiger began to reflect within himself: 'As long as this Muni lives everybody will know from what a low condition I sprang. Therefore I must get rid of him.' But the Muni, seeing the tiger ready to spring, said, 'Wicked tiger, be thou a mouse.' And so it was. And the mouse was presently picked up by a bird, and never came down again.
--Porter, C. (1891). Variants of Browning's "Pietro of Albano.". Poet Lore, 3, 579.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

fast tuesday check-in

Hi everyone!  I got caught short for time this morning because I'm working on a project (stay tuned).  So I'm going to cheat and send you to some links found by the ever-excellent Strange Company in a recent Weekend Link Dump.  (You should check it out every Friday.)
A real-life pet detective
Some office cats of 1890s NYC
The noble dog Gelert's grave, or so the locals say

Back soon!

Monday, April 24, 2017

good morning

Fletcher Fund, 1929 www.metmuseum.org
I think Etruscan askoi flasks are my new favorite things this week.  This askos (flask) dates from the 4th century B.C., and is a stylistic adaptation from earlier Greek bird-shape vases.  Askoi were based on the shape of plump full wineskins, which look a lot like a sitting bird, and askoi were popularly made in the shape of ducks (also nice and plump).  This rooster is an unusual variant.  Look at his perfectly modelled comb.
Here is an article on Etruscan bird-askoi from the Penn Museum, and another on Etruscan pottery overall from the Ancient History encyclopedia online.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

romanian proverbs

thanks pixabay

From Rumanian Proverbs, collected by Marcu Beza and published in 1921:
  • Câinele nu intră, dacă nu-i uşa deschisă. -- A dog doesn't enter if the door is not open.
  • De te latră un câine, astupă-i gura cu pâine. -- If a dog barks at you, stop his muzzle with bread.
  • Câinii când încep a lătra te lasă, dar gura lumii—pace. -- There is some respite from a barking dog, but never from wagging tongues.
  • Câinele latră la lună toată noaptea, şi luna nu-1 ascultă niciodată. --The dog barks at the moon all night long, but the moon never hears him.
  • Cine se judecă, adeseori pierde un bou si câştigă o pisică. --The man who goes to law often loses an ox to win a cat.
  • Ce naste din pisică soareci mănâncă. -- What is born of a cat eats mice.
  • La casa cu două fete mor pisicile de sete. -- In the house where there are two girls, the cats die of thirst.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

give a dog a bone, c 1320

thanks discardingimages.tumblr.com

From the Hours of Saint-Omer, France ca. 1320  (Want to see the book he comes from?  British Library, Add 36684, fol. 34r).

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

rabbit, lisbon, 2014

By r2hox from Madrid, Spain (Bajo el puente - 30)
[CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
"Bajo el puente" - "under the bridge."  Photographer r2hox's blog Arte en la Calle is full of observed street art as vivid and powerful as this.