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  • Charlaine LeRoux

Exsanguinate. Regurgitate. Repeat.

Hey Bookworms! This week we’re going back, back, back like a boomerang to the Pacific coast of Australia to learn a little something about a creature from Aboriginal folklore called the Yara-Ma-Yha-Who. They’re kinda like vampires if vampires weren’t totally played out. They aren’t undead. They drink blood but they don’t have any teeth. They don’t have big, stupid hair and they don’t-under any circumstances-want to date teenage girls. They do, however, love dancing and naps. What’s not to like about these guys? I mean, I guess if one of them got ahold of you it would be less than charming, but that is the only reason I will accept.

Yara-Ma-Yha-Who are about four feet tall with big round heads, blood red skin and the cutest little potbellies. Instead of teeth they have suckers on their hands and feet, which they use to liberate a pint or two of blood from their victims. So, they basically look like a hybrid version of a very large tree frog, a tentacle porn monster, and Elmo. They live in fig trees where they just hang out and wait until a weary traveler stops to rest under their tree of residence. I guess Postmates doesn’t deliver to the outback? On the other hand, maybe they just have a policy against delivering to vampiric tree muppets? Seems like a sound practice. Either way, once a snack shows up, the Yara-Ma-Yha-Who death drops down outta that fig tree faster than you can say Laganja Estranja and wraps them in a blood-draining bear hug.

Luckily, the person loses consciousness during that whole ordeal because things start to get a little weird after that. That know what? That name is amazing but it’s a real pain in the fanny to type so from now on I’m just gonna call our muppet vampire Clyde. Clyde doesn’t totally drain the person. He just takes enough to make the victim hella woozy. Then, though, he’s got this crumpled unconscious person cluttering up the base of his tree and that just won’t do. So, he opens his big, muppety mouth wide, wider, widest and swallows up the person whole. This is not a quick process. It’s slow, like a sword swallower except the sword is a breathing human that is likely at least a foot taller than Clyde.

Because of the size difference Clyde has to do this little wiggling, jiggling, shifting dance to help him choke folks down and I imagine it’s equal parts horrific and adorable to watch. Hordorable! After all that, he’s pretty thirsty so he goes down to the river to have a long cold drink of water and a little nap. Of course, he wakes up with a bellyache because there is literally a full size human crammed in there. He promptly horks them back up and after that, the human must play dead.

If they lay perfectly still, then Clyde will lose interest and walk a few steps away. The thing is that old Clyde has a touch of OCD, so he has to turn back and make sure his dinner is dead. He gives ‘em a few pokes and walks a little further away, but then he turns back and unleashes his secret weapon. Tickle fight! He tickles the bejesus out of the person and, if they don’t respond to that, he will finally walk away and go take a proper nap behind a bush. Then the person can scoot, skiddle, skedaddle right on out of there.

They’ve got a great story to tell, but if Clyde catches them again, they will be shorter and redder every time until they become Yara-Ma-Yha-Who themselves. There are certainly worse things to be. The Governors of Georgia and Alabama, for instance. Talk about monsters. I wonder if we could lure them to Australia?

So, what have we learned today, my little Bookworms? There are many creatures in Australia that attack via aggressive hug. It’s surprising and strangely sweet. The folklore beings of Australia are a complicated bunch. We’ve also learned that a blood chugging tentacle muppet beast is way less monstrous than some actual human beings. It’s important to avoid fig trees at all costs. You never know what kind of trouble is lurking up there. Lastly, I’m just wondering if anyone has ever been able to throw a boomerang and have it come back to them? Lord knows I haven’t. In fact I’m wondering if the whole concept of boomerangs returning is a hoax. I gotta research that business straight away. I’ll see you next week Bookworms!


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