Elizabeth and Alice
Elizabeth Mortimer loved to wear hats festooned with flowers and taxidermy. It was very popular in her circles. At social gatherings, those with the means, would try and one-up each other with outrageous apparel for the head. Many of the hats had birds on them with the occasional appearance of a fox, stoat, or sable. One day, her friend Lucy Stottlemeyer showed up with a live monkey on her hat and gave her the idea of using live bats. She began acquiring them and spent a great deal of time training them as it was difficult for them to remain “still”. She managed to train one and named her Alice. Not only could Alice fly and perch on command, she also controlled the flies and other pests at the gatherings. @wbfinearts @pulseartfair
“Thompson’s Mystery Mammal”
In 1835, William Thompson, member of the Belfast Natural History Society and well known “swell guy” got really drunk and fell asleep in the street. He was woken up by a strange creature that was sniffing his face. At first, he thought it was a cat, . . . but its head was too big. It was neither cat or dog, but appeared to have features from both animals. When he got up, the animal got up on its hind legs and walked away like a middle aged man who was late for work, . . . with its chin up and its arms swaying with purpose . It was all very strange. He tried to tell his friends at the society. They did not believe him as the smell of alcohol on his breath made them skeptical. As he was trying to describe what he saw, it walked right by them with that same brisk gait. They attempted to followed it, but it sprinted away. There continued to be sightings of this unusual being walking upright through the city for many years after. Some of the people who saw it, began mimicking its walk with great hilarity.