Although we Curators enjoy telling our stories, and naturally hope that you enjoy reading them, this Cabinet’s true raison d’être—if I may shock you with French—are our collections.
What haven’t we braved to feed the collector’s chief obsession? Which is, of course, completeness. Curator Trevayne once climbed an immense and ancient tree to find the nest of a winged ghoul, otherwise occupied, whose infant hatchlings greeted her with gaping mouths full of tiny, razor-sharp, bloodstained teeth. I cannot imagine how, one by one, she managed to pull those teeth—now prominently displayed in her Dentition of the Necrophagi exhibit—but I hope someday she will tell us. So far she insists she’s just trying to forget.
Curator Legrand once slept under a young child’s bed for 13 nights in a row in order, finally, to slaughter and stuff an enormous gila monster—which was just as well, as the monster had taken to sleeping under the covers at the end of the terrified child’s bed, occasionally licking her feet with disturbing interest.
Curator Bachmann once disguised himself as a snowdrift to record the domestic dispute of a pair of yeti.
I myself, for the sake of a collection, braved a 7th grade gym class. The horrors I witnessed would strain your sanity, but it was worth it to capture a splendid specimen of Adolescent Voodoo Experimentation, including a little blonde doll that may still be causing weight problems for a certain cheerleader.
But of course, these stories we tell you form a kind of collection themselves—a collection which, in fact, will be magnificently published in a few short weeks, on May 27. In honor of that massive and remarkably beautiful tome, we will devote the month of May to stories about collections, and collectors, and all the pleasant horrors they entail.