Mud Puffer

Notice to seekers of the Mud Puffers.  A near fatal,  yet to be determined, vehicular accident has
caused the Puffer to be removed to a rehabilitation site, rumored to be the City Water Department.
Puffer’s extreme modesty prevents even a picture of the ailing birdlike creature.

Mud Puffer

Avis into inflata

The Avis Into inflata, commonly known as the Mud Puffer, is a rare and endangered species found only in Grays Harbor. This birdlike creature is named for its preference for muddy environments and a tendency to inflate when provoked. Initially the Mud Puffer flourished along the area’s coastal beaches. Sucking its cheeks full of mud, it then spat, filtering out edible matter such as tiny clams, crabs and insects. In the mid-1800′s, the Mud Puffer’s colorful feathers caught the attention of one Mr. Snidely Von Hauttentrotter.  A businessman, snake-oil salesman and attorney by trade, Snidely had in mind to make a mint. Hiring several men of like character, he set about catching the birds, a relatively easy task considering they were flightless, awkward and somewhat dimwitted. Under cover of moonlight, Snidely’s men trapped the Puffers and relieved them of their feathers, which were sold to a ladies-hat manufacturer in France. Having made a killing, Snidely hoped to breed the birds for their feathers and reap even more profits, but this venture proved futile. Because the birds do not do well in captivity, they failed to reproduce; moreover, Mud Puffer feathers, once removed, do not grow back. Determining that the nude, spineless birds were without value, Snidely released them at an undisclosed location near Copalis Beach where tragedy ensued. A little-known characteristic of Mud Puffers is their extreme modesty.  As their bodies began to turn up along Copalis beaches, government researchers determined that the cause of death was only sometimes exposure to the elements.  Many of the Puffers, it turns out, died of embarrassment.