Monday, 26 February 2018

Gnomus

Half mile or so to the south of Byfield exists a small colony of Gnomes, Homo pusillus. They have been there, to my certain knowledge, for fifteen years and there are village elders who believe they have dwelt there for far longer. Dare we speculate that these were the 'homunculi' referred to by the Roman historian Tacitus when he wrote 'In terrae Cornovii homunculi... (illegible word)...residere est'. Perhaps, but the territory where the settlement of Byfield now exists was probably controlled in pre-Roman times not by the Cornovii but by the Coritani. Some have expressed scepticism over this since the words 'Made in Hong Kong' were recently found inscribed on the shoes worn by one of the gnomes but there seems no reason why current members of the colony should eschew modern advances in footwear technology.
Members of Byfield's colony of Homo pusillus. 26 February, 2017
Since my last visit some four years ago the colony appears to have grown, suggesting that it is reproductively viable; no reports of sexual activity are known to me but despite observations much of their behaviour is of a clandestine nature. Of course, Paracelsus believed that homunculi could be created spontaneously using 'magic' but primatologists generally disregard this idea and draw attention to Homo floresiensis, the so-called 'Hobbit human', skeletons of which were discovered in 2003 on the Indonesian island of Flores, and suggest instead that Byfield's Homo pusillus represents an extreme development of this trend towards dwarfism. Research is hampered by the fact that, as with the Loch Ness Monster and the Yeti, fossil remains are unknown.
My visit earlier today was made in an attempt to establish the colony's response to winter conditions. I left with some disturbing conclusions. The individuals, young and old, male and female, appear to have responded to the cold conditions by entering a state of suspended animation, with little or no sign of metabolic functions. However, I recall that summer visits found them in the same condition, suggesting that this species uses both hibernation and aestivation as a response to extremes of weather.
Sexual activity has not been observed but some male members of the
colony are frequently seem wearing an enigmatic smile.
I know of no other species to possess this ability although I know of one highly placed USA citizen who shows very little sign of brain activity at any stage - day or night, winter or summer.
My research continues.

 








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