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In Which there is Correspondence Expressing Concern about the Identity of a Statue

Mr Porterby

3 Lighthouse Barnacles Circle

Dorchester Etc


My Dear Mr Porterby,

I trust this letter will find you as well as I was when I received your correspondence yesterday. I found its content most interesting and stimulating as I rarely see words so foreign to fact, common sense or any reality known to anyone of any consciousness except perhaps the fully dead. (I should stress, as I assume lack of knowledge couples with your imbecility, as so often happens in gentlemen, that I do mean the fully dead and not the partially or mostly dead of which I have been now and then).

I should note I do appreciate your reply for while it is devoid of coherence, sense or truth, you do at least acknowledge my concern that the statue you so kindly cast and shipped forworth is not in fact of me. I should state by way of context that the Serpente Square plan was entirely based upon the statue being of Serpente for, if the statue was, say, of cabbage, the name would more suitably Cabbage Square, and so forth etcetera.

Let me restate my earliest concern: that the statue would appear to be of Medusa, owing to the holding of snakes and the presence of appearances and certained rounded appliances which would suggest the female of the species. Your reply was most creative, in which you attempted to cite examples within my books of such times as I might have encountered snakes, and dressed as a woman, which in fact was the case on three occasions and nine occasions, respectively. However, I do not do this so commonly as for it to be considered normal. I would give the example of Lord Nelson, who would no doubt commonly squat upon the pot as is a healthy man’s want, and yet I’d warrant you would travel very, very far before you found a bronze of him squatting with cheeks a-splendor, except possibly in a very far corner of Italy where unusual expression is more common and perhaps even expected.

You do cite one occasion in which I might have dressed as a woman and held a snake, and I was much impressed as clearly you must know someone well enough that they were willing to read said passage from my first book to you, as well as write your letter as I assume if you could write you’d be able to assemble clear thought.

In fact, whoever read that passage to you was somewhat incorrect in that while I did escape the kanibals of Tangamanfoo through the use of subterfuge and the snake, the book clearly states that my escape was nearly foiled by the failure of strategically placed coconuts to stay in place. While somewhat embarrassing a detail, I included it so that my courage and bravery would not go interrupted without some comedy relief, as without said comedy relief my accomplishments as a heroic explorer would be constantly met with swooning by ladies and envy by men to the point where it becomes troublesome. Envy can be such a discouragement that it could inhibit my ability to earn funds to pay an honest sculptor.  

In fact, the passage is very clear, as stated on page 1094, that my coconuts were so troubled as to position and parallel structure that a villager, having just digested my butler, Conway,  commented that I was too young to be sagging, but he would still have me as a wife anyway. It was only through the strategic application of the snake that I escaped his clutches, which illustrates another point, which is that I only held the snake for, at most, five minutes, long enough to enrapture it through certain mind-calming techniques I had picked up inside the Great Pyramid of Egypt coupled with chants of the Rosicrucians of Brazil as well as a composition of my own development during sessions with the ghost of Mozart in which I offered to him whatever modest knowledge I may have picked up as to tonal composition.

Thus, a statue that purports to summarize my entire career as a figure resembling Medusa is not only not what I ordered, but highly inaccurate. I look forward to the actual statue of me soon, as requested in the first letter, which I can assume said person only read to you in part.

Yours with great respect, humility and the hope you’ll get your head out from between Lord Nelson’s cheeks, etc.

A. Serpente Esq.

[img_assist|nid=7506|title=Examination of a statue|desc=The Serpentes find this statue of Mr Serpente to be an inexact likeness|link=popup|align=left|width=640|height=503]


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  1. Tepic Harlequin Tepic Harlequin July 31, 2013

    Cor! That mean ter be you, Mr Serpente? Thought it were Lilly from down the Blue Sparrow, she’s got a lovely snake, she lets me hold it sometimes, it’s ever so strong, an not slimy like people think. The lasses there are very lucky, they get to keep all sorts of pets, i gives em fresh voles to feed the snake. Did wonder why yer put a statue of her up, guess yer must know her quite well, though they all has lots of gentleman admirers down there, always having visitors. Recon Lily is the first ter have a staute though……. errrr…… yer looks a funny colour, Mr. S., errrr…. recon i’d better be off, things ter do, see ya!

  2. Pilipo Underwood Pilipo Underwood August 2, 2013

    Well now, I have seen it. Not what one would call the most feminine face. But then, it does not appear to be a statue they produced for you, Mister Serpente, so much as one looted from an archeological site.

  3. Emerson Lighthouse Emerson Lighthouse August 5, 2013

    Emerson sat on a blanket in the shade of one of the majestic trees that grew so defiantly in the Academy and blew plumes of purple smoke into the air.

    “Is that snake moving,” he whispered to Junie, “or is it just me?”

    Junie narrowed her eyes and stared at the snake. “I can’t tell,” she replied.

    She glanced back at Emerson who seemed somehow hypnotized by the presense of the statue.  She quickly reached over and deftly plucked the cigar from between his teeth. This did the trick, snapping him out of his stupor. Junie took a three quick puffs then stubbed the end of the cigar into the grass before opening the little basket nestled between them.

    “Cinderberry chutney.” Junie smiled, presenting Emerson with a small jar. “I finished all the preserves just this morning.”

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