A couple weeks ago, my sister popped up on my gchat and we had a conversation that went something like this:
Sapana: Have you heard of narwhals?
Me: Yes, of course.
Sapana: What?! Seriously?
Me: An arctic sea mammal with a single long tusk, thought to be the inspiration for unicorns.
Sapana: WHO ARE YOU?!? Do you know an animal that starts with “x”?
Me: Oh, there’s a small African rodent–Xerxes or something like that. (It ended up being a Xerus)
Sapana: Again, WHO ARE YOU?!?
I’m fascinated with strange creatures, and happen to know quite a few of them. I love tapirs, narwhals, coatis, and especially okapis. I was delighted to learn that the Denver Zoo has okapis–I’d never seen them in real life before. I also love echidnas–an egg-laying mammal! How cool is that?
I know all this mostly because I had a subscription to Zoobooks as a child, and some of the weirder animals stuck with me. Sapana’s whole line of conversation came up because a guy at her work was wearing a shirt with a graphic of animals beginning with each letter of the alphabet, and they couldn’t figure out what the “n” animal was.
Of course, after this, I wanted to make sure that she never forgot about narwhals, so I set about crocheting one for her.
Here’s another angle:
I wrapped it up in a little package with this note:
And sent it off to her work address. That’s right, her work address. I debated it for a bit, since I didn’t initially want to make her seem weird her at work, but then decided it would be much funnier if she opened up an unexpected package at work to receive a…narwhal. And that it would be funnier if I did make her seem weird at work.
She has assured me that the gift has firmly cemented her in the workplace as quite bizarre, but she thought it was funny nonetheless.
I love that I can embarrass my sister from 1,800 miles away. After all, what are big sisters for?