It is my sad duty to inform you that due to a sudden, and quite severe case of spring fever, the production of Dicky in Space cartoons have slowed to a near stop. This is not to say that production will not continue, I’m definitely NOT saying that at all…. However a brief hiatus at this point seems unavoidable. The next instalment is currently sitting drawn, but not yet coloured. I will hopefully have it ready soon. In the mean time, please consider having a look at the following, It’s very informative, and quite interesting!
Take care! -Brad.
THE BUSH-BABY HYPOTHISIS
By: Brad Crozier
What’s that rustling in the bushes? What left these strange little foot prints in the snow? What’s that sound coming from the hilltop? That strange repetitious sound, like drumming. Your walking through the forest. The day is warm, sunny, birds are chirping, bees are buzzing, blossoms blooming, all is well. You’ll never see it coming. Even after it happens, chances are you wont realize that any things gone on at all. You’ll just continue on your walk, stopping here and there to smell the blossoms, none the wiser all the way. That is until you get back to the car and realize you don’t have your keys. Panic, anger, frustration all fill your mind. Frantically you search through all your pockets and tear the car apart looking for them. You search the ground around the car and then your pockets again. Your heart sinks, and your mind woes at the thought of having to retrace your steps through the woods. Your keys have been lost….. Or were they taken?
If you’ve ever wondered who might have stolen the last cookie from the picnic basket; or if you’ve “lost” your sunglasses, wallet or watch while on a pleasant walk in the woods; chances are that at least some of you have fallen victim to the trickery of one of the most illusive and cunning of all woodland creatures. A creature so rare, so mysterious and unbelievable that most of the few people that have actually ever heard of them utterly deny and protest that any such creature could ever possibly exist. However, that is not to say that there hasn’t been a great deal of private research into their possible existence, which may or may not have produced at least some evidence to the contrary. The main cause of the lack of solid evidence is attributed to the simple fact that the little bastards are so damn hard to find, and that even when found, tend to move so incredibly fast that anything filmed or photographed ends up looking more like an indistinguishable blur rather than anything that could be presented as proof. That is aside from one rather compelling, yet controversial photograph, taken in infrared, yet most people claim this is nothing more than a cheesy effect.
Often mistaken as Gnomes and Leprechauns, the North American Bush-Baby is much different from it European counterparts. Referred to by the native Algonquin’s as: “Matchitehew” (He who has an evil heart) The indigenous North Americans viewed them as barbaric little demons and had few dealings with them aside from the occasional conflict. The modern name Bush-Baby stems from the first encounters with European Colonists and these small humanoid creatures. Wild-Babies, as they were then called, were at first thought, as the name suggests, to be some sort of Native Wild Baby, perhaps renegade children from local tribes. This was because at first glance, a Bush-Baby does look strikingly familiar to a human child, especially in the summer months when they bare no clothing and could be spotted running through the forest naked. There were apparently even some cases of colonial families that successfully captured one or more Wild-Babies and attempted to raise them as one of their own. Of course once they realized that what they had captured was neither a real baby, or indeed human at all, the creature was often then released, and in some cases made into a sort of pet. However as Bush-Babies temperaments can be at times quite foul and are indeed quite destructive by nature, this practice was also soon abandon.
Unlike the Gnome, the Bush-Baby prefers to live in a small surface cave or den as opposed to underground. In the winter, Bush-Babies adorn themselves in the hides and furs of rabbits and minks and other small mammals that they hunt. Like many tribal cultures, all of the animal is put to use in one way or the other, and nothing is wasted. Chipmunks and Squirrels are often kept as pets and are their dearest and most beloved friends. It is thought that perhaps they assist the Bush-Babies, acting as their eyes and ears in the forest, which could explain why Bush-Baby encounters are so rare.
Similar to the Leprechaun, The Bush-Baby is known to be mischievous and generally thought to be up to no good, most of the time. This is however where the similarities end, as was found out very quickly by several rather disappointed Irish immigrants that took to catching Wild-Babies and then demanding a pot of gold and three wishes. Of course the poor Wild-Babies had no idea what the men were talking about and sadly, were quite often shaken to death. Yet another reason for the trapping and extermination of Bush-Babies was due to their aforementioned mischievous nature, which quickly manifested itself in agricultural areas where they took to stealing farmers crops. Chickens also became a prime target and in upstate New York old time farmers still tell tales of their great, great grandfather finding Wild-Babies laying cold on the chicken coup floor, pecked to death. Eventually The Bush-Baby was driven into hiding, it’s numbers greatly reduced by the ever approaching arm of western civilization, and Man and Wild-Baby went their separate ways and were mostly forgotten about all together.
The Modern Bush-Baby
Since then these small woodland creatures have adapted to life in the modern North American landscape and have retreated to the more remote patches of wilderness, staying out of sight for the most part until recently. It has been suggested that the cause of the increase in relative sightings is a result of an extended boom in population on both sides. Now as more and more wilderness is developed into urbanized zones, the swelling Bush-Baby population is finding itself being encroached upon by an ever growing influx of human beings. Yet still they remain an enigma, refusing to prove they exist, masked by their swift and intelligent cunning, hiding behind blurred images and fanatic tales of encounter. Elegantly and silently they dance with passers by that invade their forest refuge, nabbing the glasses off their head or slipping their cell phone out of their pocket with all the slyness of a an airport pick pocket. Other times they’ll hide high in the bows of the evergreens and throw pinecones down on those who walk below. They also love to get dogs all riled up and make them go running off mad through the bush, dispensing much agony and worry on their owners, not to mention the frustration this causes the dog.
For the most part, aside from the annoying pranks of trickery, Bush-Babies are thought to be relatively harmless outside of captivity, unless provoked. Still, due to their small size, manoeuvrability and lightning fast speed, they will almost always opt to run rather than to turn and fight. There have been however, albeit rare, reports of the occasional attack. Most of these reports date back nearly a century and almost always involve a loan farmer being attacked by a small group or ”Gaggle” of Wild-Babies during the mid harvest season. Given that nearly all the accounts involved only the particular farmer making the accusation and no other witnesses, it is difficult to judge the validity of the story, as the farmer would have reason to spread slander of the Wild-Babies if he feared that they would pose a threat to his ripening crops. Almost all other accounts of attack have taken place while the creature was in captivity. In the wild, Bush-Babies are no more dangerous than a deer and often never seen or noticed anyways.
It is believed that The Modern North American Bush-Baby spends most of its time hunting and scavenging for food and collecting sought after items that range from creature to creature. Like many wild animals they enjoy shiny objects like jewellery and glasses. Some are also quite fond of soft things such as mittens, hats, scarves and other apparel from which they make their clothing. Others fancy noisy things like jingling keys, MP3 players and cell phones. Most people think they simply drop these things or leave them behind, and of course, sometimes this is the case, but not always. They are also very food driven and thus this also becomes another item often stolen, especially sweets which are their most favourite.
The Bush-Baby is a curious creature and so when it notices a human wandering through its neck of the woods it will often head out to observe the strange and peculiar intruder. It will stalk you for a while, snapping branches here and there, rustling bushes and dropping pinecones and other bits from high above. In the winter they will knock snow down on you as you pass by heavily weighted evergreen bows and even reach out and trip you once and a while. They watch you very closely as they follow you through the trees, listening to everything you say. If they see that you have something that strikes their eye, they’ll swoop in and try to steel it away without your knowing and rush it back to their nest, which is not always in the same location as their dwelling.
In the nest are all the Bush-Baby’s prize possessions as well as a selection of it’s favourite foods and other various items. When not out and about in the forest the Bush-Baby resides in its cave or den where it eats, sleeps and stores the bulk of its food. During the colder winter months when more time is spent in the dwelling, the Bush-Baby will pass the time by making a substance known as “Bush-Butter” which is most likely used as a nutritional supplement through the winter season when food is more scarce. Bush-Butter is thought to be composed of a concoction of animal fat, ground acorns and various nuts, mashed wild berries, various forest roots and blossoms as well as the sap like pitch of the balsam fir.
The Dwelling itself may vary in size depending on availability and number of occupants. Some Bush-Babies appear to live solitary lives while others exist in community. The average dwelling contains five basic components:
a) Complete shelter from the elements on at least three sides, above and below.
b) A strategic and accommodatable location.
c) An area devoted to sleep
d) An work space to prepare food, construct various items such as tools, clothing, bedding, containers etc.
e) An area in which to store food and various other items and supplies.
There may be a small fire pit beside the dwelling, but chances are that the Baby has become accustom to cleaning up its fire pit after each burn as to not draw attention to itself. An easily accessible area outside will be chosen and devoted to defecation and urination, which will also be carried out at leisure throughout the forest.
When multiple Babies are living in a singular dwelling, the overall size is simply expanded or if necessary, a move is made. As said, some individuals and single families seem to live solitarily, each home surrounded by a very large otherwise Bush-Baby free area, while other areas of similar size may contain several hundred. It is theorised that there may be patches of extremely densely populated areas that could be called cities existing in remote locations where such activity would remain unnoticed. A prime location for such settlements could be the interior forests of large National, State and Provincial parks, conservation areas, other protected lands and the wilderness that usually surrounds them, where sightings appear to be more frequent.
Most Bush-Babies prefer to live in deeply wooded areas away from the human world. As they live off the land, their habitat must include available food sources such as edible vegetation, huntable game and fresh water. Forest become the preferred location because of the general abundance of these needed sources there in, as well as the protective coverage it provides. There are seven regionalized territories across North America believed to be populated by seven variations of this strange little creature, six of which dwell in various types of forest. The seventh variation is the only nation of Babies known to break from this tradition, that being the High Desert Cave-Babies of Arizona and New Mexico.
Five Major Types of Bush-Baby, (A,B,C,D, & E):
Regionalized Variants of The North American Bush-Baby
A – The Western Mountain- Baby (Those at the northern most portion of the range are sometimes referred to as “Alaskan Ice-Babies”)
B – The Northern Boreal Forest-Baby
C – The Central Canadian Bush-Baby (And the Lé Buisson-Bébé of Quebec)
D – The Atlantic Wood-Babies
E – The Appalachian Wild-Babies (First discovered during the colonial era.)
F – The Southern Bog-Baby (Or Baby of the Bayou)
G – The High Desert Cave-Baby (Known for living in caves along canyon walls.)
These sever variations of Bush-Baby make up the vast majority of the population and remain in seasonal temperate zones where they have adapted to the changing of the seasons. They can withstand both extremely hot and cold temperatures and thus have no need to heat or cool their homes. In the summer months, Most individuals prefer to remain nude baring no clothes at all while in the cool and colder temperatures of the winter they do adorn various types of clothing for added protection from the extremes. Clothing may include shirts and pants, hats, gloves, boots and cloaks made from fabrics acquired from humans, and more traditionally out of animal hides and furs, which are also used to make bedding materials and small satchels for carrying things.
The forest provides a near endless supply of wood for the Bush-Babies needs. Babies will construct a wide variety of simple tools and hunting weapons out of wood, rock and even bone. Knives, Hammers, Spears, bows & arrows and turners for making bush-butter are all typical items possessed by most. Rope is made from the long fibrous strands that make up the brambles of tag-alders and forest vines, and small birch bark canoes among other things are sealed and reinforced with glues made from tree sap and pitch.
Of the seven variations of the species, two, and one sub-variant, reside in areas outside of the traditional forest setting and function in ways somewhat different from the other five. The reason for these three anomalous groups is not completely understood, but it is speculated that it may be the result of forced relocation after the loss of their original habitat. These include:
The Alaskan Ice-Babies:
Who dwell near the arctic where marginal forests meet tundra are technically classified as Western Mountain-Babies, but are different from their southern cousins in many ways. Here the limit of their resistance to extreme cold is put to the test. Long winters and scarcity of food makes survival difficult and diet consists mostly of meat and animal fat. Entire communities are thought to inhabit singular caves, all living together under one roof. A cave may house up to a hundred individuals and everything is done communally.
The Southern Bog-Babies
(Babies of the Bayou) Reside in the wetlands and swamps of America’s deep south. One theory suggests that these Bog-Babies, known as Swamp-Babies in Alabama, may have originally been from the hills of Virginia and the Carolinas, but were driven out after finding themselves caught in the crossfire of the American Revolution, taking refuge in the deep swamps of the south. Here, due to the lack of caves, Bog-Babies build their Nests high in the trees where they can remain dry and safe from alligators and other wetland predators. Their diet consists mostly of various aquatic life and small birds. Due to their lack of human contact and exposure the modern elements they bring with them, these Babies have remained quite savage in comparison to their counterparts. This also may be due to their regional habitats isolated location.
The High Desert Cave-Babies:
Are perhaps the most curious of all, living not in any type of forest or woodland, but in the open and arid high deserts of south western North America. These Cave-Babies are exposed to both extreme heat and cold and have very little access to the things one generally associates with the Bush-Baby’s lifestyle. First of all there is very little water, which is presumably found in underground aquifers located deep inside desert caves. Secondly, the scarcity of food stuffs suggests a diet that is perhaps high in cactus flesh, Pack-Rat and various desert insects. Thirdly, The lack of wood limits what they are able to build. They are thought to have a deeply spiritual and ritualistic culture that is not shared by the other six.
There has only ever been one eye-witness account to the mysterious Bush-Baby mating ritual, though many claim to have herd the noises associated with it. It is unknown as to whether all variants of the species perform the same ritual or if the ritual itself is unique to nation, or even individual. This perplexing act between male and female Bush-Baby is performed rigorously for extended periods of time during the early spring. It is speculated that mating takes place roughly every four to five years, given the frequency of sighted juveniles. Females may produce one or several young over their lifetime, but it is generally assumed that only one youth is carried at a time. The fathering male will stay on with the mother and child until such time as the youth reaches adult hood, then father, mother and child will all part ways, unless the male re-impregnates the female.
The Bush-Baby courtship ritual and mating progress is a long and drawn out affair, according to the single eye-witness who oversaw the ordeal progress over the course of several days. Her name was Wilma Wickswiggens, a fifty five year old bush-hippy and resident Shaman living alone in the rugged wilderness of British Columbia’s Rocky Mountains. She had long suspected the nearby presence of the “Western Mountain-Wild-Baby” as she called it, after finding time and time again small footprints all through the snow near her shack, and a small bundle made from some kind of hide, sewn together with strange little woody threads, containing a white greasy substance mixed with nuts and berries that she believed to be authentic Black Currant Bush-Butter.
Wilma claims to have witnessed the courtship and eventual mating of two young Mountain-Babies from the comfort of her own home while it all played out in her back yard. Apparently while shut up in in her shack for several days after a late snowfall in April, two local Bush-Babies, having no idea that Wilma was watching through the window, wandered out into her back yard and began their bizarre and mysterious encounter. Her original statement is as follows:
WILMA WICKSWIGGENS APRIL 17TH 1998
BELLA COOLA, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA
-It was a Friday morning and an early spring blizzard had covered the ground with three feet of snow, which is not uncommon up here on the mountain. I was completely snowed in, but I was prepared and had everything I needed to get by for a few days so I stayed put. I heard this strange sound coming from outside, sort of like a drumming that came and went with the wind. Then it started getting louder and louder, so I went to the window to see if I could see anything. Then just like that I spotted him. He was a short little thing, only a foot and a half tall like an upright baby as the name suggests. He was stout and gruff looking and adorned a cloak of tattered red fur. He marched rigidly beating on the small wooden drum he bore round his chest. Atop his head was a vibrant headdress of colourful feathers, and over his shoulder was strewn a satchel made of hide. He paraded around the yard for some time before climbing up on top of the mound of snow that covered a small shed. There he set down his bad and began drumming a different beat and stamping his feet at attention. His face became quite serious and stern and looked kind of constipated. Endlessly he beat that damn drum late into the night and started early the next morning. That afternoon the female finally arrived and took audience as he danced and beat his drum at her. On the third day the male began disappearing into the forest for a time then returning baring gifts for his beloved from pinecones and dried wild flowers to something that looked strikingly familiar to a watch I lost during a long walk in the woods this past fall. This too went on for some time before a final act of provocative dance was performed which eventually, at long last, convinced the female to submit. The dance included several erotic gestures which centered around the presentation of his genitalia, to which his mate seemed quite taken by. This was proceeded by a long period of unbecoming foreplay leading, up to the actual mating act itself. The female was positioned in front on all fours while the male mounted her from behind. Intercourse involved and continuous cycle of vial, oscillating thrusts and garbled grunts of satisfaction. The males look of constipation intensified as they continued until he was red in the face. It was so horrible to watch but I couldn’t help myself! Afterwards they both disappeared into the forest and I’ve never seen them again. I don’t think they had any idea I was inside the whole time watching them. The snowfall had covered everything, even the house which I don’t even think they noticed. I bundled up and dug my way through the drifted snow and got out of the house. I followed their footprints into the woods for a kilometre or so before the came to a sudden end at the base of a mighty fir tree. When I got back to my shack I realized that the male had left his little drum behind, which I have kept to this day as proof should anyone doubt me. It’s crudely fashioned, made of pine and the stretched hide of a rabbit, bound with leather string like strips. The pieces of wood are glued together with a pitchy substance that has been hardened and the outer surface has been stained with a reddish tint.-”
Wilma’s story has been the subject of some debate as she was recently arrested for possession of several mind altering drugs, of which she has apparently been under the influence of for several years. Aside from this one small detail, there is no other reason to doubt the validity of her story and many have no doubt of it’s truth. As it turns out, deep inside a cave in northern Washington state a collection of native petroglyphs have recently been discovered which may be a depiction of the same sort of mating process described in Wilma’s account. The cave drawings are suspected to be around a thousand years old, painted by indigenous Tsimshiam peoples.
This image definitely suggests a similar scene, notice the representation of the chipmunk on the left and the bows & arrows that help to represent the difference in scale. The tree (not seen) may represent the forest and home of the mating babies.
First hand sightings are rare today with the majority of all documented reports dating back prior to 1900. Since then the very existence of the Bush-Baby has all but faded out of memory. However the occasional sighting and encounter are still reported from time to time and in recent years there has been a steady increase in the number of these reports. Usually these reports come from hikers, campers and other outdoor enthusiasts who had the encounter while visiting areas deep in the forest. When an actual sighting is described, recollections often include remarks of small somewhat hairy little baby sized bipeds that move with incredible speed. Many witnesses are unable to give a definitive description of what they saw as most of the time the witnesses only catch quick glimpses of the little animals out of the corner of their eye or through obstructive foliage.
Much more commonly encountered are simple and often unnoticed signs of the Bush-Babies presence spread randomly throughout the forest. For example, during the winter months, Bush-Baby footprints can often be seen in the snow along with the tracks of other woodland creatures and can sometimes blend right in with that of a deer, wolf, fox and so on. Another sign of their presence is when toadstools appear to have bites taken out of them, (as toadstools are a sort of Bush-baby delicacy.) There have also been a few instances of their tools and other items either lost or left behind having been found by a human passer by such as Mrs. Wickswiggens’ drum.
As sightings and accompanying signs of their existence continue to occur and increase in frequency it becomes harder to ignore the evidence. In fact, from 2010 to 2011 there was a fifty percent increase in the number of sightings and the number of reports of signs of their presence doubled.
Bush Baby Sightings Per Year
* In 2009 there were 16 reports of stumbled upon evidence suggestive to Bush-Baby activity. The following year in 2010 there were 26 reports. Of the 26, six of them were from British Columbia, another four in America’s Pacific North-West. Five were from Canada’s Boreal Zone, and eight between Ontario and Quebec. The remaining three in the Appalachian Mountains.
The first ever documented Bush-Baby sighting was back in the colonial era by a Mrs. Beatrice S. Farthington in what is now upstate New York circa 1785. Since that time there have been 1475 reported sightings, most of them taking place before 1900 in the Appalachian Region. In modern times however, the majority of sightings take place in Canada and the Pacific North West of the United States. Mrs. Farthington’s original description of what she had seen as:
“A small child barring no clothes, about in the forest as if it lived there, no more than a year old but walking with ease. It looked savage and rugged like a wild-child, maybe a lost youngling of the Iroquois….”
Another of the more well known cases of Bush-Baby encounter occurred near Val d’Or Quebec in 1984 when Francis and Elizabeth Du Mond came across a small birch bark canoe, measuring just under three feet long, washed up on the shores of Lac Sabourin. Both had grown up in the area and lived in Val d’Or and neither had ever seen or heard of Le Buisson-Bé bé , or of any other kind of discoveries of their craftsmanship. Many believe that the entire ordeal was a hoax, but as there have since been three additional sightings in the area, and in July 2002 a small drum, similar to that found by Mrs. Wickswiggens was reportedly found near Rouyn Noranda, a community 94 km, (58 Miles), west of Val d’Or.
The most compelling piece of evidence towards the existence of the North American Bush-Baby is a set of photographs taken in the early fall of 2010 in a patch of mixed forest some thirty miles West of Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario Canada. The two identical photographs, one taken in infrared, show a small cave like hollow amidst a rocky forest landscape. Because of the low light under the canopy of the forest and the relative smallness of the little cave, it is not possible to see anything beyond it’s entrance’s vale of shadow. However, in photo number two, taken immediately after the first, but in infrared clearly shows the presence of a small bipedal creature standing upright just inside. Some doubt the authenticity of these two photos, but the photographer, a man by the name of Makenzie King, holds strongly to his word that they are indeed legitimate, and thus solid proof of the existence of this long forgotten, yet remarkable animal.