Bacon Tuxedo« an older post
a newer one »Spring-Loaded Uncle

Assembled Ferret Skeleton

Scalzi Story

Wherein I take a band name from Scalzi’s Next Band Name list, and spend no more than 20 minutes writing the story with the band name as a title.


Moore looked down at the small bone he had just uncovered and wondered for the briefest of moments if he was still in Mexico. The small bone didn’t look quite right based on the other ones around it, and was certainly not one he was expecting to find.

He had been reprimanded for that last “flaw” in his personality: that he expected to find certain remains and was often very frustrated when he didn’t find them. Nothing like having poor expectations when you were excavating skeletons, Moore thought, as he wrinkled his nose and squished his face into a childlike whine.

He brushed a bit more off the bone and realized it was somehow connected to another part still buried. Okay, fine, he’d uncover that, too.

Working meticulously, because, hey, that wasn’t one of his character flaws, Moore began to uncover a set of bones all connected in an odd way. The bones weren’t aligned in a characteriscally flat way that most burial bones were. They formed a three dimensional shape.

Puzzled, Moore called for Swanson to come over and view what he had uncovered.

Swanson was normally quite bored on these excavations. Not because he wasn’t working, but rather because he wasn’t very interested in recovering human remains and inanimate artifacts. Odd for an archaeologist, Swanson was always excited about uncovering animal remains.

Moore was pretty sure this one would do it for Swanson.

He was right.

Swanson was down on all fours, nose so close to the uncovered bones his eyes were crossed. Moore wondered if Swanson’s eyes were going to be stuck like that, and was still smiling when Swanson sat up and turned to him.

Ferret, Swanson said.

Moore asked for more information, since he was pretty sure the bones he had just uncovered were not ferret. Swanson went on to describe how the skull of the skeleton was a ferret skull, how it differed from the small mammals of the area, and had just started in on other aspects of the shoulders when Moore politely, watch that other character flaw, interrupted him to point out that the remains he had uncovered yesterday were of the Pre-Classic period so where at least 1800 years old, probably more like 3000 years old, but the ferret was a European animal. Worse, domesticated less than 2500 years before. How had a polecat ended up buried here?

Swanson tipped his head up, looked down his nose, and let Moore know that yes, it was a ferret, no he didn’t know how it arrived here, that wasn’t his area, Moore would have to figure that out himself, and walked away.

Moore was only a bit exasperated when Swanson left.

His exasperation turned to amusement many hours later when he had uncovered the rest of the skeleton and all its pieces. Moore was humoured to note the assembled feret skeleton he had finally uncovered was connected to a Mayan headdress. The skeleton wasn’t put together correctly, with the leg bones swapped and the tail bones definitely out of order, though the jawbone at the end of the tail did provide some good symmetry.

Apparently the Mayan priests didn’t know what to make of a ferret either.

Add new comment