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Friday fun: the avenging narwhal

Friday, July 25th, 2014

[Those of a sensitive disposition may wish to skip the next few paragraphs and just look at the cuddly penguin at the end of this post.]

During our tea break yesterday, the conversation turned to children’s toys, and more specifically to ones with a polar theme. “Aha!” said Heather, our Librarian and Keeper of Collections, “what you need is The Avenging Narwhal!” We all looked blank, so Heather dived into her office and came out with this:

narwhal_detail

In the photo above, Heather is holding “The Avenging Narwhal Play Set – with 4 magical tusks and 3 adorable animals to impale!“. Inside the box there is indeed a plastic model narwhal impaling some adorable animals – here, a baby seal:

narwhal3

This isn’t just gratuitous violence, however! The back of the box tells the ancient legend of “The Narwhal: Nature’s Unicorn”, which explains why narwhals have got it in for seals, penguins and, er, koala bears. The story is rather long but is worth quoting in full, I think:

For centuries, the Narwhal was the great mystery of the sea. With the body of a whale and the horn of a Unicorn, many people believed that these fascinating creatures were harmless inhabitants of the icy waters of the Arctic Ocean. Recent studies, however, have exposed the secret agenda of these mysterious mammals and the true purpose of their extraordinarily long pointy tusks.

The studies revealed that millions of years ago, penguins, snow seals and koalas ruled the earth. For sustenance, they feasted upon whales, dolphins and other sea mammals to the point of near extinction. But the Narwhal went into hiding beneath the ice of the North Pole, biding their time, planning their revenge and sharpening their tusks. Finally, they reemerged, tusks gleaming with newfound magical power, and fought back against the adorable creatures that threatened their existence. The battle was long, and many Narwhal were lost, but their strong will and sharp tusks were enough to stave off the cute ones temporarily.

Now, once a year, in a continuous effort to keep their enemies at bay, the Narwhal leave their homes to embark on a treacherous migration to Antarctica in the hunt for baby penguins and seal pups. Many will not return … Along their journey, they will spend time in Australia, swimming upstream to the inland habitat of the koalas, where they will actually leap out of the water to spear the deadly koalas from their perches high in the Eucalyptus trees.

In order to carry out its deadly mission, the avenging narwhal has four magical tusks:

narwhal2

In reality, of course, narwhals are fatal only to the fish, shrimp and squid that form the bulk of their diet – and narwhals themselves are threatened by human activity (primarily climate change).

I was fascinated by the Avenging Narwhal and did some research into other polar-themed games and toys. There are actually quite a lot of them, and I will be posting some of them to this blog over the coming weeks – if you have any particular favourites to share, please e-mail me!

Christina

PS At the beginning of the blog, I promised a cute baby penguin as a more tasteful polar-themed toy, and here it is!

humboldt