Introducing: Cocoa’s C’animals!

Can you guess which canonical story that this refers to?

3STUThe History of C’animals

It was May of 2001 and Sherlockians were gathering for an event at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. Before the big dinner several of us whiled away the afternoon exploring some of local the shops. And that’s where it started; I found an adorable baby gorilla in the guise of a stuffed toy.

Later, when my friends and I were comparing our shopping trophies, I validated my purchase by naming the small gorilla McGinty, the Bodymaster. Little did I know that I was soon to become addicted to collecting stuffed toy versions the many animals mentioned in the Canon. Adding up those that are mentioned as similes, those that are mention as allegories and those that play an actual role (no matter how big or small) there are more than 134 animals in the 60 published stories. And that’s not counting the various breeds of canis familiaris.

Soon I began to haunt local toy stores, the gift shop at the American Museum of Natural History and the internet looking all manner of amphibians and crustaceans, reptiles and rodents. In a relatively short period of time I had acquired a substantial number of stuffed toys. Storage soon became an issue; solved by the purchase of several very large straw baskets. Thankfully stuffed toys are squishable. Of course the collection is incomplete. Apparently there aren’t many requests for toy versions of gudgeon or pilot fish. Searching for stuffed shrimp resulted only in recipes. And then there are species, like slow worms or drag hounds, known only to the denizens of the Canon.

After I retired I finally had the time to “play” with my collection; grouping and photographing them by story. The results are some of the pictures that will be showing up on this website. Some of the adventures have only a few c’animals while others have so many several pictures were necessary to complete the family album. By the way, did you know there is one adventure that doesn’t have any animals at all?

Have fun identifying them all.

Cocoa (aka Judith Freeman)