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  • Charlaine LeRoux

The Weasel Beneath My Wings

Hey Bookworms! This is kind of a weird question, but what do you know about weasels? If you’re like me, you don’t know much at all. I always assumed that they were the outdoorsy cousins of all the pet ferrets of the world. As it turns out, I was wrong. Weasels are voracious predators with a seriously intimidating fang/claw situation, which they use to take down predators more than twice their size. So, yeah, they’re adorable. You want to take a charming series of Instagram photos with them, but they will jack you right on up at the drop of a hat. Weasels are the Arya Stark of the natural world. Don’t trifle with a weasel is what I’m saying.

I feel like this goes without saying, but you most definitely don’t want to mess with supernatural weasels. Kamaitachi are Japanese yokai most commonly referred to as sickle weasels. They look like ordinary weasels except they have sickles instead of hands and feet. Those are the curved blades that people used as farm tools back in the day. Russia also used them as a symbol of the proletariat but that’s neither here nor there. These guys ain’t no commies, though. What they are is fuzzy wuzzy wittle killing machines. Or they could be if they wanted to. Freddy Kruger only had one knife hand and he left piles of corpses everywhere he went.

Luckily Kamaitachi just love a good prank and to have a mostly harmless laugh at the expense of humans. The thing I really appreciate about them is how much they appreciate teamwork. They didn’t read a bunch of dumb management books. Ain’t nobody moving their cheese. They don’t have to practice trust falls or attend team building seminars. They just inherently know that everyone deserves a chance to shine and I respect that. We should all try to emulate Kamaitachi more in our day to day lives.

What they like to do for fun is ride the air currents of dust devils in teams of three like Charlie’s Angels. When they come across a person one Kamaitachi will spring into action and trip them and then a second Kamaitachi will slash them with those razor sharp tootsies. Finally, the third Kamaitachi will swoop in and apply a sort of organic balm that will keep the victim from bleeding out and help the wound heal quickly. They do all of this so fast you can’t even see them. You feel a gust of wind, trip, and wonder how the heck you cut yourself.

They don’t want to do any murders. Kamaitachi just love pranks. They especially love to get people when they’re in a hurry or sneaking around. I imagine they just laugh their fuzzy little butts off at the bewildered look on people’s faces after they get the old weasel whammy. I mean, I can’t really blame them. What else are they gonna do? Ice skating? Topiary art? Maybe open a deli? The options are pretty limited when you have razor sharp sickles instead of hands and feet. They have to do something to stay busy, right? Knitting is certainly out of the question so I support them pursuing any hobby that works for them.

Kamaitachi are really sort of an inspiration for me. They’re out there every day making the best of their unusual bodies and abilities, working together to make a shared goal happen, and harnessing the power of the wind to do their shenanigans. Sure, sure, they slice folks up a little bit here and there. It hurts, but it’s also a reminder of the hidden greatness of the world. It encourages you to look at the world through different eyes. Where one person may perceive a sudden gust of wind, I see a highly skilled group of immortal weasels joining forces to pull off a juvenile but objectively hilarious prank. I think it’s a pretty good way to look at the world, Bookworms. Magic is all around us guys, and sometimes it’s stabby and adorable.

#FolkloreFriday #featureFriday #featurereads

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