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Night Sleep
September 17, 2013 Off

Night Sleep

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This page was not planned in my original script, but I thought it would be a nice addition. Plus it would also allow to add another page I wanted to (since in an album point of view, we need to think the layout not only page per page, but also as a left and a right page!).

Anyway it seems our Marmot did not think the departure through. Well you saw it, he kind of left at sunset. No surprise soon he is surprised by night! Marmots are essentially day animals. Normally you would never see a Marmot outside by night. Well it seems *our* Marmot is a little more adventurous. After all he travels, and there is like nearly no travelling marmot in the history of marmot-kind, is there?!

So here we see the first encounter with all these night animals. Marmot may leave close to them all his life, and never have met them. They are like impossible encounters.

To understand well which animals these are, maybe a little more background is necessary. Our hero is a Marmot from Western Europe’s Alps. Where exactly is unsure. Is it on the French side? The Switzerland? The Italian one? So at this point of the story (yes you may guess it will evolve!), he can meet only locale species.

Tawny Owl (Wikipedia, CC by-sa 2.5), by Andreas Trepte

Tawny Owl (Wikipedia, CC by-sa 2.5), by Andreas Trepte


The owl, first night animal he ever encounters — and can be quite a scary one when unknown — we based on is the Tawny Owl, common in Eurasia. We made quite a bit of interpretation though, because its dark brown eyes were not scary enough. On the other hand, you can easily find a great range of scary owl (just go search for “scary owl” in any image search engine), and they usually have wide-opened yellow eyes. That helps if you want to be scary! So since we thought our first drawn owl was not frightening enough (actually it was even just too cute!), well we made this alternate version with big wide yellow eyes. Maybe later we can find another another species from the European side with yellow eyes, looking alike, and pretend that was our model from the start?! :p
Also the owl made some incredible display of neck flexibility. Actually owls are known to be able to turn their head 270 degrees, without any self-injury. Yeah just like an horror movie (everyone has the exorcist in mind!). So they can watch back without moving the corpse, or just have the mouth up, eyes down, or any mix. Well this too is kind of scary for the unprepared mind. And poor Marmot is ok to be scared, even though it is probably not very nice for this owl who asked nothing to none!

Five flying dogs hanging in a tree Sri Lanka (CC by-sa, Wikimedia), by Peter van der Sluijs

Five flying dogs hanging in a tree Sri Lanka (CC by-sa, Wikimedia), by Peter van der Sluijs

Then we have a common bat… sleeping downside! Since Marmot loves experimenting, could he resist trying too? Of course probably the bat was not asking that much attention either.

Weeping Willow (Wikimedia, CC-by-sa 3.0), by Jdforrester

Weeping Willow (Wikimedia, CC-by-sa 3.0), by Jdforrester


European Beaver (wikimedia, CC by-sa 3.0), by Per Harald Olsen

European Beaver (wikimedia, CC by-sa 3.0), by Per Harald Olsen


Then Marmot finds a Weeping Willow. Well looks nearly like a roof, it is made to rest, right? But weeping willow are close to water, and what else may be close to water? Beavers! And beavers don’t only like to work a lot, it turns out they also like to do it a like at night (in particular start and end of night, it would seem. But you could also see them by day). How bad luck is that for Marmot?

European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) in Austin's Ferry, Tasmania, Australia (Wikimedia, CC by-sa 3.0), by JJ Harrison

European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) in Austin’s Ferry, Tasmania, Australia (Wikimedia, CC by-sa 3.0), by JJ Harrison


Fortunately, good luck was found with a nearby European Rabbit neighbour, who had his burrow just there. Here again some little freedom has been taken, not on the physical aspect, but on the behavioural aspect of the rabbit, because he would also be more of a night-activity animal. Thus he should not be sleeping with Marmot. But maybe we can say that’s the family, mum and kids (even the tall one!), while the father is out working and getting food for the family? Yes let’s just say that, for the sake of completeness. 😉

Also isn’t it the real adventure? Meeting new people and sharing food and mats?! 🙂

↓ Transcript
Marmot suddenly realizes that night is upon him!
He spots a friendly looking bird and tries to call it for help, but get scard away when the bird, an owl, turns its head halfway back.
Then he spots a strange animal, sleeping head down, in a tree: a bat. Trying to do the same, just in case it may be comfortable, he falls on the ground.
Later he founds a weeping willow close to a nice and calm river. Like a roof over one's head, close to water, what a perfect way to rest. But huge sounds wake him up. A beaver is working on his piece of construction: a dam in the middle of the river just a few meters from Marmot!
Finally when all hope seems lost, a wild rabbit sees Marmot and proposes to share its burrow. Yeah!

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