Monday, November 19, 2007

The Owl

Yesterday, I visited the Sconth Museum of Historical Art and was lucky enough to see the Owl, an otherwise unremarkable statuette famous for being the most stolen artifact in the world. I did a quick sketch while I was there. (I'll try to post it later.)

Today, I went back to the museum. One of the local linguists is attempting to read the entire Epic of Rampastula out loud, using the version written in hieroglyphics on the inside of a three-thousand-year-old sewer pipe, and I didn't want to miss Act Three. The pipe amplifies his voice quite nicely. He had a fairly large audience by the end of Act Two.

When I got there, the Museum was crawling with soldier beetles. I asked one of them what was going on; he or she (it's impossible to tell unless you can see ultraviolet) explained that the Owl had been stolen last night. They were there to investigate.

They didn't really have much hope of finding it. Hardly anyone ever does. In a few months, it will show up in some other museum after being bought anonymously for some exorbitant price. Then it will be stolen again. The museums just never learn.

Sometimes, I wonder if it's all some sort of game among thieves. "Ha ha, the Owl's in the Vanister museum now. Sold for five hundred railway tickets and a Geint. Tag, you're it."

Incidentally, Act Three of the Epic was splendid. The linguist can translate dimly lit ancient Mirulian hieroglyphs into spoken English without skipping a beat.

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