Anthropomorphic Taxidermy

Written on March 19th, 2010 by Adam in Short Stories + Flash Fiction

It’s pretty lucky you’re not there actually, I’ve been practicing what I was going to say in my head and, well, I couldn’t really get it right.  I know I was supposed to stay until you got back and give you the keys and we’d sit down and chat and you’d be all tanned and I’d be pasty white and happy for you but that’s all changed.  The thing is, it’s Lucky, I have to tell you about Lucky.  Can you sit down or something when you’re listening to this. I think it would be better.

He’s dead is the thing.  Lucky is dead.  Chased his last mouse three days after you left.  That was the problem.  You know that scaffolding next door have up against their back wall?  Well he was off like a shot across the garden.  The mouse went up one of the planks to the first level then I lost site of him.  Wednesday morning there was still no sign of him I started to worry and started searching the neighbourhood, making enquiries.  By Thursday I was past myself.

And then the builders turned up again.  Turned out when I confronted them that they knew something (incidentally they weren’t going to tell me but I forced them).  Tom the foreman had apparently taken up a hobby to relieve the tedium of his day job and, well, taxidermy isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but from what I’ve seen he seems to have quite the talent for it.  He claims that he practices on what he calls roadkill and when he’d found poor Lucky with no collar he figured that it would be okay.

Of course when I found out I demanded he return the poor thing and he agreed.  Said I would have to cook him dinner in return.  Thing is from what he described it was only really the front of Lucky that was usable.  He’s a really nice man, really trying to broaden his horizons, he was telling me about how he’d seen this animal in a museum in Rome when – oh God, I’m waffling, sorry – Lucky… Tom stuffed him, and mounted him.

On a remote controlled car.

I thought he had a bit of a surreal artistic streak but apparently it’s called anthropomorphic taxidermy.  Dates back to Victorian times. Amazing isn’t it?  It looks like Lucky is actually driving the car when you use the remote control.  He gave me the car with Lucky attached and the remote control after we had finished dessert.  After the second bottle of wine we were driving him around the kitchen but, listen, he’s on your dining room table.  Lucky.  Not Tom.

I hope you get this before you get in.

Oh god, I’m sorry but I just didn’t think you’d understand.  I’m not sure I do but Tom is such a nice bloke and a wonderful artist you’d love him I swear.  Listen I have to go, he’s just arrived to pick me up but call me, please.

  • marc nash

    Great title, enjoyable read to boot.

    I had a model car track set and our Siamese cat sat in the middle and pawed the cars as they flew past. He later graduated to real car hub caps and inevitably became road kill himself…

  • John Wiswell

    On a remote control car, or in one? Because mounting him as though he were driving into Mouse Heaven in style would be totally forgivable. Even commendable.

  • Jules

    An excellent story, one I might steal and tell to my friends after dinner and a few glasses of wine…

  • Anton Gully

    Loved this. What a great idea for a story.

  • Carlos de la Parra

    I love the fact that the cat was mounted on the car,great image.
    Only complaint is that you give away too much with the title,you could have named it anything else non revealing.